By DAPO OLAWUNI
Truckers at the Nigerian ports have resumed full operations after joining last week’s nationwide EndSars protest which completely shut down the Apapa port and the Tin Can Island Ports.
Chairman of Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMARTO) Chief Remi Ogungbemi told DAILY TREND NEWS exclusively that the truckers had to call off their strike action and return back to the port in order not to overheat the already tensed state of the nation.
Also speaking with our correspondent, spokesman of Coalition of Maritime Truck Unions and Associations (COMTUA) Alhaji Inuwa Muhammed said trucking activities at the ports are expected to resume back today.
Meanwhile Chief Ogungbemi, the AMARTO Chairman has said that negotiations and discussions on the demands of the truckers would continue with the government.
Ogungbemi told our correspondent that “In view of the turbulence that enveloped the State and the nation as a whole, we have resolved to resume operations while discussions and negotiations continue”
The AMARTO Chairman said the truckers decided to join the last week’s EndSars protest so as to against extortion by security agencies and delays being experienced in the passage of trucks to access the seaport for evacuation of cargoes.
Part of the demands of the truckers to the authorities was the dissolution of the presidential task force controlling traffic into the port, the task team was accused of corruption and extortion.
“They should prioritise clearance of export trucks to discharge export to the port. We are also demanding the passage of refrigerated containers, dissolution of all illegal security checkpoints of extortion in Apapa and Tin-Can island Ports, ” he said.
The protesting truck drivers called on the Federal Government to remove all Customs officers from exit gate.
“Removal of all Customs checkpoints outside the port, Customs should leave all port gate and exit containers from APM Terminals, unconditional release of all trucks seized by the Nigeria Customs Service, unconditional release of cargoes and trucks seized at CMS jetties”
“Unconditional release of all trucks seized by the Lagos State Traffic Maintenance Agency (LASTMA)
“Improved operational efficiency by APMT or they should leave Nigeria. All shipping companies must have functional holding bays,”