By Seun Ibiyemi
The Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMARTO) has raised alarm over alleged extortion by officials of the Presidential Task Team, disclosing that there are three flashpoints where cash exchange hands at the Apapa port.
The haulage group identified Sifax Bonded Terminal, Ijora axis and the popular Mr. Biggs and Standard Flour Mill (SMF) junction along Creek Road inwards the Lagos Ports Complex (LPC), as spots for the presidential task team.
The association Head of Call System, Comrade Goddy English in a chat with newsmen recently, alleged that operatives of the Mobile Police (Mopol) and officials from the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) attached to the task team along the corridors were frustrating the success recorded so far.
According to him, truckers pay between N3,000/ N5,000 per vehicle to the aforementioned personnel , adding that the situation may cause more problem for the government in the line of restoring sanity to the port environment.
Comrade Goddy noted that under the Nigerian Navy supervision, the call system was effective despite the alleged extortion but added that the Presidential Task Team has also compromise to the extend to demanding bribes from truck drivers.
Irrespective of “Manual Call Up System”, Comrade English maintained that the current trend by officials of NPA and Mopol could frustrate the purpose of restoring sanity to Apapa and its environs , pointing out that “Already truck owners and drivers are groaning and may likely protest over the issue.
While exempting, the Lagos State Transport Management Authority (LASTMA) officials from the practice, he said despite the manual system, the Mopol would ignore the call up directive and demand for their bribe.
He also disclosed that the Lilypond facility has not been effective as some of the drivers allegedly flout the call up directive.