The Presidential Task Team in charge of decongesting Apapa gridlock has accused the Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMARTO) of profiting from the traffic gridlock and confusion in Apapa.
Executive Vice Chairman of the Committee, Comrade Kayode Opeifa stated this recently when he visited the secretariat of the Maritime Reporters Association of Nigeria (MARAN) in Apapa
He specifically alleged that Chairman of AMARTO, Chief Remi Ogungbemi was collecting money from truck drivers under the Ijora Bridge and trying to encourage them shunting the established queue into the port.
Opeifa said the Presidential Task Team can no longer recognise AMARTO because all the respective truck unions have been collapsed into a single union in order to interface better with the government.
The new body is called; Coalition of Maritime Truck Unions and Associations (COMTUA)
Speaking, Opeifa alleged that “Remi Ogungbemi does not have a single truck, they (truckers associations) have collapsed all the truckers union into one body, COMTUA and they presented somebody into our committee”
“But three weeks later, Ogungbemi started fighting the committee because we cleared under the Lillypond Bridge, he said he is the one collecting money under the bridge, so he started fighting us”
“When we arrest vehicles he would ask us to release them”
“There is no more AMARTO as speaking for the truckers, all the association’s still exist, but for the purpose of managing their issues, they have come under a new name COMTUA”
“Remi Ogungbemi said he is not a member of COMTUA but his members are in COMTUA, MWUN also have representation in COMTUA, they created it to tackle the gridlock, now that we are solving the gridlock Remi Ogungbemi is tackling us because he doesn’t want the traffic to be resolved” Opeifa alleged.
Meanwhile, Opeifa who was a former commissioner for transportation in Lagos State has said that transferring containers to Ikorodu warehouse by badges as a result of gridlock in Apapa is like postponing the evil days.
He lamented that Ikorodu road is now deteriorating because the trucks have began plying the axis which is not meant for heavy duty trucks.
“The experts I spoke with told me that empty containers should not be moved to Ikorodu and that they should be sold off inside the port” he said