Importers, Agents, Others Trace Apapa Wharf Gridlock To Extortion By Port Officials

LAGOS DECEMBER 4TH (NEWSRANGERS)-Importers, clearing agents and truck owners are worried over the worsening gridlock on the port access road at the Tin Can Island Port Complex (TCIPC) in Lagos.

They accused officials of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) security department, police and the Presidential Task Team on Apapa gridlock, who were deployed to manage the traffic of extortion.

According to them, in addition to the poor condition of the port access roads, extortion by security and traffic control officials remain the major cause of the unending gridlock. The situation is said to have taken a negative effect on port operations as cargo delivery has considerably slowed down. It has also led to a sudden rise in haulage and shipping cost.

A truck owner and an executive member of the Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMATO), Sanni Bala, said the security agents including the Presidential Task Team demand huge sums, ranging from N70,000 to N200,000, depending on the ‘bargaining power’ of the truck driver, to be allowed into the port.

He said: “Unlawful extortion by NPA security officials, police and the Presidential Task Team along Apapa and Tin Can Port road axis has become a daily occurrence and an institutionalised phenomenon that is taking a serious toll on the income of truck owners and exacerbating the plight of motorists.”

Chairman of AMATO Remi Ogungbemi corroborated Bala. He said: “What is happening at Tin Can is a situation of the more you look, the less you see. Business is going on as usual and the Task Team has refused to leave because they are benefiting from the chaos. They have formed a cartel and if you are not in that group, they will not pass your truck no matter who you are.”

The Nation

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Posted by on Dec 4 2020. Filed under National. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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