Truckers Blame Enforcement Architecture For Poor Eto Performance At Lagos Ports

Truckers Blame Enforcement Architecture For Poor Eto Performance At Lagos Ports

• Raise the alarm over plot to ensure removal of e-call up system
• ’We pay N350,000 to access port before Eto call up arrangement’

Truckers under the aegis of the Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMATO) have alleged move by extortion cabals to get the electronic call up system (Eto) removed to enable them to come back and exploit the traffic anarchy at the nation’s ports access roads to the detriment of trade facilitation, ease of doing business and seamless evacuation of cargoes.

According to the truckers, before the coming of Eto, they paid up to N350, 000 and spent months begging to access the ports in Lagos. In a statement by the Secretary General, AMATO, Mohammed Sani, the Eto call up system has not failed or collapsed, rather, the enforcement architecture that is supposed to ensure free flow of traffic for the system to function efficiently is compromised by unscrupulous elements of the security/traffic enforcement team.

He alleged that the multiple checkpoints mounted by security/traffic operatives, hoodlums and union thugs selling tickets to truckers not belonging to Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) and the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) are the major factors frustrating the efficient performance of Eto.

Sani said this is because the Eto call up has cancelled the outrageous N350, 000 they used to charge for trucks to access the port, especially as no trucker is coming to beg them to gain access to the ports.

He explained that the Eto releases trucks from pre-gates to the ports based on truck requests from the seaport terminals. Sani explained that by the time these trucks enter the roads, security/traffic operatives, hoodlums and union thugs would intercept these trucks at multiple checkpoints for several days before allowing them to pass after extorting the drivers.

He alleged that drivers, who are unable to pay are delayed and have their trucks damaged, while the traffic authority is invited to tow away the trucks for refusing to ‘cooperate’ despite having valid electronic call up tickets to access the ports.

“It is poverty of justice and fairness to pass a vote of no confidence on Eto call up system. Before the coming of Eto, truckers used to pay up to N350, 000 to access the port, but under Eto arrangement, you only book electronic call up number at N21, 500 for your truck from anywhere in the world without begging or knowing anybody to access the port within few days, unlike the pre-Eto period, where you have to kiss some cabal boots and spend months trying to access the ports with over N300,000.

“Those that are overlooking the human factors interrupting the operation of the Eto call up and passing vote of no confidence on the system, are doing so out of anger and frustration because the call system has rendered most of them jobless and irrelevant in the maritime trucking industry. They have lost all the privileges they used to enjoy before the coming of Eto call up,” he stated.

Sani also lamented that most of the export goods value depreciates before getting to the international markets due to the artificial barriers along the port access roads.

He added that local exporters are losing their foreign buyers due to late spoiling and late arrival of export goods from Nigeria. Sani said the coming of the electronic call up has seen businesses coming back to Apapa/Tincan, the roads opened up, fire service and ambulance buses being able to reach point of emergency on time, while drivers are no longer dying on steering in static gridlock.

Sani urged the Federal and State Governments to address the artificial barriers of extortion mounted by security officers, hoodlums and union thugs along the ports access roads that are causing gridlock for the smooth operation of Eto call up system in the best interest of national economic progress and prosperity.

Sani also urged the government to also provide a call up system and pre-gate parks for tanker truck operators to decongest the Oshodi- Mile 2- Tincan corridor.

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