By DAPO OLAWUNI
Following the failures of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to overcome challenges surrounding its Electronic Call-up System known as ETO, truck drivers in Nigerian port system have taken destinies in their hands with the introduction of a new Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) and a Coupon on how to return empty containers to holding bays outside the port area.
Recall that Minister of State for Transportation, Senator Gbemi Saraki during the Second Phase of 2020 Ministerial Retreat organised by the Federal Ministry of Transportation in Lagos recently lamented that corruption at the ports, as well as lack of proper enforcement by security agencies was among factors that killed the ETO.
The Acting Managing Director of NPA, Muhammed Bello Koko had recently also expressed dissatisfaction at the deployment of the Eto platform at the Tin Can Island Port area.
Coming under the aegis of a new alliance called; United Truckers, the truckers announced that regularization of movement of trucks dropping empty containers at depots in Amuwo Odofin in Lagos shall commence on Tuesday 24th August 2021.
To this end, all containerized truck operators are directed to book and drop empty containers at empty depots directed by Shipping Lines after filing the coupon.
The United Truckers has have also announced that it would be inaugurating its ICD’s/ Truckers Traffic Control Committee around bonded terminals on 24th of August 2021, specifically to control truck drivers.
In an honorary invitation sent out and signed by Chief Remi Ogungbemi, the group said the essence of the new team is for easing dropping of empties and elimination of gridlock around bonded terminals in Lagos
Speaking in a chat with DAILY TREND NEWS, Chief Ogungbemi said the SOP is truckers idea and proffered solution to ameliorate their suffering and to checkmate the alarming rates at which their trucks are being impounded by the government.
He assured that the SOP is not a competition with NPA Eto Call-Up System, adding that the new SOP only covers bonded terminals.
“The indiscriminate parking of trucks at various Empty Container Depots in a way that makes LASTMA or Committee on Abandoned Vehicles usually tow and Slammed outrageous bills does not concern NPA or TTP.
“We are not working against Eto but working to protect our investment from being ruin” he said
In a public message issued earlier, the United Truckers urged every containerized truck operator to adhere strictly to the new SOP in order to guard against indiscriminate parking and blocking access road to companies, residents and other road users in Amuwo Odofin area.
STANDARD OPERATION PROCEDURE FOR THE RETURNING OF EMPTY CONTAINERS
INTO EMPTY CONTAINER DEPOTS AROUND AMUWO ODOFIN AREA OF LAGOS
1. INFORMATION CENTRE
1- Compiles and separates the list of trucks coming to drop or pick empty.
2- Assigned serial number to trucks as per time of first booking.
3- Compiles the list of truck bookings and transfer it online to each depot either on hourly basis or as may be agreed upon.
4- Center would inform and call the trucks online, on first booked first call and as per the space available for them to park before entering to either discharge or pick up empties.
5- Center shall not call out trucks more than the available space in each ICD’S/Terminals.
6- Center shall rely on information from terminal and traffic/parking control officers before calling out trucks.
7- Center shall confirm number of space available from ICD’s/Terminal and traffic control officer before calling trucks.
8- Center shall program booked trucks serially and forward manifest to the terminals, drivers, owners, traffic controllers/LASTMA/FRSC, and Amuwo Local Government for proper control purposes.
2. TRAFFIC/PARKING CONTROL OFFICERS
1- Traffic/Parking Controllers shall inform Information Centre how many trucks the space outside ICD’S/Terminals can accommodate.
2. Traffic/Parking Controllers in collaboration with LASTMA/FRSC shall arrange and pass trucks into ICD’S/Terminals in a timely and orderly manner.
3. With the support of LASTMA and FRSC, Traffic/Parking Controllers Shall prevent and take appropriate action on indiscriminate parking of trucks not on ICD’s/Terminal/Information Centre call up manifest.
1- Depots shall inform the Information Center the type of shipping line units and quantity they are ready to receive base on availability of space in their yard periodically or as may be agreed upon.
2- ICD’S/Terminals shall not request trucks beyond space capacity in their yards.
4. SHIPPING COMPANIES
1. Shipping companies should clearly indicate on Container Cards where their empties should be dropped to enable truckers know ICDs/Terminal to book for dropping their empties.
1- Truckers must book their trucks before coming to drop empty at ICD’s/Terminals.
2- Drivers must not come to ICD’S/Terminals unless invited by the Information Centre.
3. Drivers must also ensure empty container return cards are duly stamped before returning empty.
6. INFORMATION ON COUPON:
1- Date of booking.
2- Time of booking.
3- Name of Driver.
4- Driver’s Tel.
5- Owner’s Tel.
6- Transaction type
7- Container No’s.
8- Shipping Line.
9- Truck No.
10- Make of truck.
11- Color of the truck.
12- Truck Location / garage.
13- Name of Terminal.
SANCTION AWAITS DEFAULTERS OF SOP