As the strike action embarked upon by the Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMATO) and the National Association of Road Truck Owners (NARTO) extends into the third week, critical stakeholders have expressed apprehension that the strike might snowball into far reaching proportions.
A truck owner, Mr. Charles Nwankwo said that the strike is beginning to take its toll on port operations.
According to him, “All the our trucks are parked outside the ports and some of the trucks that have loaded inside the port are not allowed to come out, activities have been at a stand still.
“Right now they are in a meeting and if both parties can adjust their terms, the associations can call off the strike so that things can go back to normal.”
On the restriction of movement of trucks by the State Government to between 9pm to 6am, Charles said that the time is not enough as each terminal receives about 3 ships a day with as much as 1000 containers on board each, insisting that there is no way terminal operators can discharge all that cargo and deliver them at warehouses within that limited time.
MMS Plus further gathered that Alaba market traders are vehemently against the restrictions, a source who prefers anonymity, told MMS Plus that what the State Government did not consider is that there is more traffic hold up recorded at night than during the day.
In his words, “At 9pm a lot of traffic is on the roads because that is the rush hour when most people are returning from work, so you cannot rule out accidents occurring even at that time, infact, it could be more fatal that the Ojuelegba incident.”
He lamented that they have appealed to the union to allow trucks inside the ports that have loaded to exit as some are carrying perishable goods like fish but they refused.
At the end of the meeting between the association and the state government’s representatives which was a deadlock as they could not reach an agreement.