The truck owners under the aegis of Committee of Maritime Transport Unions and Associations (COMTUA) has threatened to embark on strike over alleged extortion by the Truck Transit Park Nigeria Limited, operator of Eto (Electronic Call-up System) into the Apapa seaport.
In an exclusive chat with BUSINESSinsiderng.com, over the weekend, the President, COMTUA, Com. Olayinka Aroyewun lamented that the eto platform has not reduced extortion on the port access road saying insecurity on the port access road has been on the high side.
He said, “Eto has led to serious loss of job for our members. You see our members inside the park as their jobs have been taken away by foreigners who now use tag at expensive rate so, extortion is on the increase and this is caused by complete breakdown of law and order within the axis.
“Government is not in charge of security on the port access road and everyday they spring up extorting our members and we have written special letter to the Chief Security Officer if the state but, nothing has been done, in view of this, we are embarking on a protest, withdrawing our service and adopting litigation so that things will be done properly.”
A former Vice chairman, National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO), Abdulhai Inua Mohammed also corroborated Aroyewun’s submission saying extortion points have sprung up on the port access road.
He, however, said the free flow of traffic on the port access road was as a result of low importation and not TTP’s ingenuity
He said, “Eto hasn’t stopped extortion, initially it stopped but as it is now, we have huge extortion going on despite the fact that there is presently low importation into the country, and that is why we are having free access to the port and this is a reflection of low importation that make us see the road been free but, however, the extortion is high we see different points where security agencies and touts extort money from drivers along the port access road.
“Eto is supposed to help truckers access the seaport without hindrance but now, extortion has returned and it is affecting truck owners.”
Also speaking, the president, Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMATO), Chief Remi Ogungbemi, he said extortion is still ongoing on the port access road.
Ogungbemi said the extortion was borne out of loopholes and human interference that allowed for manipulation of the system by Truck drivers.
“TTP should see how they can block the loopholes through which people are circumventing or manipulating the system. We still have some human interference in the system that was the reason why extortion is on the high side. Those loopholes, NPA should try as much as possible to block it,” Ogungbemi advised.