The Nigerian Shippers Council has assured that the new haulage rate it is coming up with is not compulsory but is rather indicative to guide transporters and port users.
While speaking with DAILY TREND NEWS last week, Executive Secretary of the council, Barr Hassan Bello said the agency is still consulting with the federal ministry of transportation and the Federal Road Safely Corps (FRSC) before the new haulage rate is rolled out.
Bello also revealed that major transport unions and association’s in Nigeria have so far endorsed the new haulage rate proposed by the Council.
The council had presented the new rates to stakeholders at a conference in Lagos recently, saying the move was to “establish a well-structured and standardized haulage rates and services for the road transport sector for stakeholders’ business plan and economic decision making.
Speaking, he said “On the introduction of haulage rates, we are still consulting, first with Federal Ministry of Transport, then with the Federal Road Safety Corps, then with all the unions including National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) National Union of Petroleum and National Gas Union (NUPENG) Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMARTO) National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and many others”
“The haulage rates are indicative and not compulsory, but one has to know the rate to pay when arranging for transportation because we cannot go on blindly”
“The haulage rates are determined by supply and demand, but there should be benchmarking so that foreigners and investors would know that they have an idea of how much it costs”
“The union did not kick against the rates because we work with them and we are still working with them, they have already endorsed it, there was validation carried out, and the amalgamated union came out and endorsed it”
“However, we still have a lot of work to do, we want to involve all the shareholders” he said
The Shippers Council boss also said that haulage fairs charged by truck owners at Nigerian ports has dropped by 40%, following the reduction in the traffic gridlock on the port access roads.
Bello attributed the development to efforts by the Presidential Task Force monitoring the traffic.
Bello also attributed the drop to the fact that truck drivers are no longer being extorted by security agencies, saying that extortion had hitherto forced the truckers to hike their fares.
He said “The haulage rate was artificial because it was occasioned by the traffic, now that the traffic is leaving and there is order and sanity, the traffic rate has dropped”
“Also, there is no extortion, nobody is being extorted, it is the extortion that is usually transfered to the final consumer, but since they don’t have extortion again, we don’t have any problem”
The Shippers Council boss equally commended efforts of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and the operation of its call up system.
He said the truck parks at Lillypond, Ijora terminal is bringing sanity into the port.
“We are also helping by bringing sanity into the terminals, sometimes, it is what happens in the terminal that causes the traffic, so we try to achieve efficiency in the terminals so that there would not be congestion”