…Truckers Now Part with N25,000 to Drop Empty Containers
There is palpable anxiety at the Tin Can Island Port in Lagos as freight forwarders have raised an alarm, alleging that port concessionares are now collaborating with traffic officers of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to extort port users.
Three terminals are domiciled at the Tin Can Port; Ports and Cargo Terminal, Five Star Logistics Terminal and Tin Can Island Container Terminal (TICT)
Investigations carried out at the weekend by our correspondent revealed that that one of them had directed that only 100 container laden trucks should be allowed into the terminal per day, even though 300 containers are coming out of each terminals daily.
Sources disclosed that the terminals at the Tin Can Port are receiving vessels more than the capacity of their terminals.
The anxiety peaked over the weekend when some of the truckers and agents who were waiting to pick up their cargoes from the port marched into the Ports and Cargo to protest.
Giving a full detail of the extortion going on at the port, one of them said “We pay N5,000 at Abuja park to the police and others before they allow the truck to enter the port area, at the terminal before they open the gate, they collect N10,000, the terminal operators staff that will drop the container also collect N5,000”
“We recorded a driver that confirmed that he spent N30,000, I am a living witness when we collected N5,000 and N10,000 back from the bribe takers inside the port”
He alleged that the atrocities happen at night and not mostly during the day, alleging that is the staff of the terminal operators that perpetrates this act.
Speaking with our correspondent, former Public Relations Officer of Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) Tin Can Chapter, Emmanuel Onyeme accused the Traffic Manager of NPA at Tin Can of collaborating with terminal operators to extort truckers and agents.
He said “My pain is that the terminal operators gave the Tin Can Island Port Traffic Manager an instruction, that they only want 100 containers inside the terminal, after they have realised the 100 containers, NPA traffic managers will start chaining the trucks and collect 10,000”
“NPA are the regulators, they are not to receive instructions from any terminal operator, telling them that they should allow only 100 containers”
“What a good traffic manager does or what we expect NPA to do is to go inside the terminal and move round to determine why they are requesting for only 100 trucks”
“The problem is that vessels come to Tin Can port with N1,500 containers, but when the vessel is leaving, she takes only 500 containers including export”
“MSC and COSCO shipping especially is the one causing the problem, they send us messages that they have export containers to pick up in other neighbouring ports, at the end of the day they will take the vessel to Lome port and fill it up”
“The more trucks are delayed, the more demurrages they collect, the terminal operators are their collaborators”
“My pain is that NIMASA, NPA, and Ministry of Transportation are not doing their job” he said