…As Truck Drivers Abandon 15 Trucks At Port Entrance
By DAPO OLAWUNI
Nigerian clearing agents under the aegis of Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) has said that the port security officials of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) are the major cause of the perennial gridlock at Tin Can Island Port, even as truck drivers have abandoned about fifteen trailers in front of the port entrance.
Apparently disturbed by the delays experienced in taking delivery of cargoes from the port, the Tin Can Island Chapter of ANLCA under the leadership of Prince Segun Oduntan on December 19th 2019 inaugurated an Ad Hoc Committee to sanitize the port area.
The committee has since held various meetings with relevant stakeholders including terminal operators, shipping companies, Customs and NPA on the cause of the traffic and how to end it.
While conducting one of its field inspections and sanitation exercise at the Tin Can Island Container Terminal (TICT) gate yesterday, the team discovered about fifteen trucks that have been abandoned for two at the port entrance, right under the nose of the NPA security and gate officials.
Leader of the team and Chairman of ANLCA at Tin Can Island Port, Prince Segun Oduntan while addressing journalists said the NPA security officials collect bribe from the trucks in order to allow them park at the port entrance.
He lamented that the exit lane at the port gave have been narrowed to a single lane.
According to him, trucks abandoned at the gate have exited customs are are supposed to be going to the warehouse, but they were abandoned at the gate for two weeks.
He said “They now use the port gate as a garage, NPA is not supposed to allow this at the gate because that is their red point area”
“They cannot tell me that they did not know when these trucks were parking there, there is a collusion somewhere, and I can tell you that from our investigation, we know that these drivers and truck owners were relating with NPA security and the police”
“The customs has said that it is not their fault and we have seen it ourselves.
The one that is fault of customs which is the CIU alert, we would intervene, although CIU has powers to intervene any cargo at any point in time”
“The containers we saw there are on transfer, this is why we have said the customs and the terminal operator should look at the container numbers and tell us what is wrong, we don’t have the container details
Any container that got to that point must have gotten to OC Gate, NPA, and the terminal operator supposed to know” he said
Oduntan explained that the team have since visited some terminals including TICT, Port and Cargo, Five Star Terminal and discovered that inside the terminals there were no issues, normal operations was going on, but outside the port is where is challenges lie.
“From our study, we found out that 80% cause of the traffic gridlock is human factor, people are racketeering, profiteering from the logjam that was artificially created”
“You can see what we just saw at the port gate now, how can you be seating down there as NPA security manning the port gate and they park fifteen trailers at your gate? You can see that there is collusion everywhere, they only left one exit lane for trucks leaving the port.
“NPA are not supposed to allow trucks park at front of the gate, the port is a security area, all truckers should be sent to their garages”
While speaking earlier when he visited the Port Security Officer (PSO) at Tin Can Port, Mr Akindele Olajide, the ANLCA boss charged him to get a towing van to remove all offending trucks, adding that the entrance into the port is NPA flag area.
He also visited the Customs OC gate where he charged them to take the container numbers abandoned at gate to CIU for confirmation and evacuation.
While speaking earlier when the Ad Hoc Committee visited his office, Mr Akindele Olajide, Head of Port Security (PSO) said that most of the drivers have abandoned their trucks and left it at port gate and that there was no one to hold responsible.
He lamented that NPA cannot tow away the abandoned trucks because it does not know the content.
“Truck business has been left in the hands of dropouts, the truck unions are not really organized. They are not organised, we cannot just tow containers because we don’t know the content”
“The CIU alart has been one of our major problem, as NPA we are also not happy because TICT is taking aerial photographs and sending it to our platform”
Olajide however commended the ANLCA committee for doing a fantastic job at Tin Can Port.