The regulation of trucks by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) is an aberration as its Act has no provision for such function but only the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigerian (CRFFN) is empowered by its Act to regulate, train and sanction truck drivers and owners.
The submission was made by a notable freight forwarder and former President of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) Dr. Eugene Nweke in Lagos yesterday at a media briefing by cargo-interest defending stakeholders on the implication of the recent barge accident on shipping.
Dr. Eugene Nweke noted that the regulation (park and e-call) was hijacked by the NPA from the CRFFN as a result of its rudderless leadership that has failed to provide direction.
Nweke maintained that the policy by the NPA and truck parks demanding truck owners to open an e-wallet with a deposit of N45,000 and N43,000 in it coupled with N10,000 for passage is nothing but extortion with a negative attendance on the cost of doing business in the ports.
HE noted that truck parks should be the responsibility of truck owners not that of NPA and they should be encouraged to have their own parks.
“For trucks to open e-wallet of N45,000 and N43,000 apart from the N10,000 passage fee is nothing but extortion. This will lead to an increase in the cost of cargo delivery. Trucking regulation is not the function of the Nigerian Ports Authority but that of CRFFN. NPA hijacked it because CRFFN failed to exercise its function. The government should encourage truck owners to build their own parks,” Nweke counseled.
It would be recalled that the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) last week published names of the designated 17 truck parks for its electronic-call up. Among the parks were FORU Truck Terminal, Nigerian Army Properties Truck Park, Bomarah Investment Ltd, JOF (Nig) Ltd, GMT Terminal, Standard Flour Mills, and Starlink Global & Ideal Limited.
According to NPA in the statement, “two weeks after the introduction of Eto, the electronic truck call-app, the Authority is pleased that operations have justified the conviction that we have finally found the solution to the problem of truck congestion in the access roads into the Lagos Port Complex and the Tin Can Island Ports
‘Although we have experienced teething problems as would be expected of innovations like this, the Authority is pleased that these issues are being tackled as they arise, and that steady progress is being made in the process.
“As part of efforts to deepen the impact of Eto and make the movement of trucks more seamless, the Authority, after consultations with stakeholders arrived at the following categorisation of trucks parks as batching points for all trucks doing business at the ports.
“Transporters and truck owners who do not use the approved truck parks based on the categorisation detailed above would be unable to access the ports.
“While the Authority is working with Nigerian Export Promotion Council to arrive at a more conducive environment for the operation of export cargo owners, the Authority wishes to state that truckers in this category should ensure they complete all documentation required by the Nigerian Customs Service, Terminal Operators and Shipping Lines before approaching the ports. Failure to complete the documentation will be met with denial of access into the ports.
“The authority recognises and appreciates, the Government of Lagos State under the leadership of His Excellency, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for the commitment to ending the truck congestion through enforcement.
“Management is grateful to all stakeholders and associations for their cooperation towards the successful implementation of the regime of reforms and hereby solicits continued support.”