By Oluyinka Onigbinde and Oluwatobiloba Oyeniyi
The President of Association of Maritime trucks owners (AMATO) Chief Remi Ogungbemi has faulted the Federal on lack of truck Transit Park in the nation’s seaport, which has led traffic regulators to capitalize on the Apapa gridlock in extorting trucks owners at the seaports.
In a recent chat with Nigerian News Direct, Ogungbemi said lack of designated truck parks has hindered the operations of truck owners making them to stay longer hours at the port.
According to him “there is no designated place where truck should park, and they cannot operate without the trucks, and the trucks must come from somewhere, so there is no availability for a befitting place where trucks can park
“That is why you see them on the road and on the bridge, because there is mechanism that regulates the movement of trucks into the port.
“And am confirming to you that money is exchanging hands between truck owners and traffic regulators and this is because of the fact that there is no proper control on how trucks should be coming into the port, so the traffic regulators are capitalizing on the gridlock to perpetrate and extort truck owners.
“Because there is no authorize place for parking in the whole Apapa, so there is no right parking, if you say wrong parking when there is no authorized place of parking in the whole of Apapa, then you are wrong.
“And you see, that is why you see most of the trucks park on the road and on bridges, which is very dangerous, because if the bridge collapses you know the havoc it will create.”
Ogungbemi however urged the government to put a mechanism that will enhance the traffic flow at the Apapa sea port.
“If there is a form of regulator that will inform the drivers when to come into the port, they will abide by it, so anywhere they are they will be waiting for their turn before they come to the port.
“Because the present situation is that all trucks that are going to the port are going towards Apapa at the same time and all the trucks cannot be attended to at the same time, it has to be one after the other.
“so if there is a mechanism to regulate their movement, each truck will know before leaving for Apapa from their park, also the mechanism will find inform the traffic regulator of a truck that has been booked to come and do business in the port, so that if they now any truck on the road such truck can now be sanctioned”
The AMATO boss appealed to the federal government to put in place electronics call system that will allow each trucks owners to know when it is their turn to visit the port.
“There must be what will call electronic call system that will be used to inform trucks owners, and also there must be a system that will ascertain the numbers of trucks that a particular loading point requires at any point in time, be it products or general.
“Also to make it easier, the government also needs to get a place that will serve as parking place for the trucks that are coming.
“There must be a terminal in place that will serve as a waiting base for the trucks pending the time when they will be called to enter the port.” he said.