By DAPO OLAWUNI
There are fresh indications that the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) enforcement of Minimum Safety Standards (MSS) scheme for trucks doing business at the ports has failed, even as a rickety truck carrying a forty foot container with numbers; TEMU3655174 on Wednesday tumbled down at Tin Can Island Port access road after loading its container from TICT Terminal.
Surprisingly, DAILY TREND NEWS correspondent noted that there was no portholes or gallops on the road which could have caused the truck to collapse on the road. Eye witnesses say it was purely a case of a rickety truck carrying a loaded cargo that is too much for its capacity.
The incident happened at exactly 5.30pm on 5th January at National Bus Stop at Tincan port.
“The truck loaded from TICT terminal going towards first gate, immediately at national junction it just fell down without any gallop or potholes rather as a result of old rickety Vehicle carrying delivery container” an eye witness stated
Even though the access road was a usually busy road, there was no casualty recorded.
The event have however renewed calls from stakeholders on the need for Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to enforce standardisation of trucks picking multimillion Naira cargoes from the port.
Speaking with our correspondent, a freight forwarder, Comrade Essien Ediomo, lamented that the Minimum Safety Standards (MSS) scheme for trucks, a scheme introduced by NPA in 2021 was not being implemented at the port terminals.
The scheme, which is anchored on the ETO platform, is aimed at stopping the incessant breakdown of trucks on the port’s access corridor or containers falling off the trucks and claiming innocent lives. It is also to ensure that only road-worthy heavy articulated vehicles have access to the ports.
Comrade Ediomo stated that even though rickety trucks are expected to be denied access to initiate bookings on the NPA “ETO” platform until it has met all MSS requirements as stipulated by the NPA, “Most of them usually bribe their way through to lift containers at the port”
Recall that the NPA had in July 2021 stated that the MSS was a panacea in the enforcement of the “ETO” call-up system designed to facilitate smooth transit of bulk cargoes and container-carrying trucks going to the ports.
“Henceforth, only trucks confirmed by the NPA to have met the MSS requirements and duly issued with an MSS certificate will continue to be active on the “ETO” platform managed by the system operator – Truck Transit Parks Limited (TTP).
“Any truck or vehicle not confirmed or certified will be denied access to initiate bookings on the “ETO” platform until it has met all MSS requirements as stipulated by the NPA.’’
The authority had advised owners of trucks yet to meet the MSS requirements to approach the NPA Safety Department at any of the two port locations in Lagos for guidance, adding that after certification of a truck, its details would be uploaded on “ETO” in order for it to continue doing business at the ports.