Port Truckers Raise Alarm as Multinationals Dominate Haulage Business in Nigeria
…Says 22 People Killed Along Tin Can Port Corridor Over Extortion
By Dapo Olawuni
The Council of Maritime Transport Unions and Associations (COMTUA) has raised alarm over the gradual extinction of indigenous businesses in the trucking business in the Nigerian maritime sector.
President of COMTUA, Mr Yinka Aroyehun expressed these fears at an enlarged meeting of the Presidential Task Team (PSTT) held at the Nigerian Shippers Council in Apapa Lagos recently.
Aroyehun lamented that multinational companies including Bollore, Medlock among others, have infiltrated and taken over truck owning business with large number of fleets, thereby throwing the indigenous operators into unemployment.
The COMTUA President also alleged that in 2022 alone, not less than 22 persons were killed along the Tin Can Port corridor due to extortion of truckers and fight for territory among various union’s.
Breaking down the death rate, he said “At Tin Can Ports sometimes in July 2022, four people were killed in a supremacy battle for territory between Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) and Parks and Garages Management Committee.
“This matter was reported to the port command, state command, AIG and so on, and up till now, nobody is near the investigation, talk less of prosecution.
“At Mile 2 in 2022, seventeen people were killed in territory and supremacy battle and nobody was prosecuted up till now.
“At Trade Fair, a driver was killed because of N1,000 extortion by touts who struggled the steering wheel with him. The extortion point is still there.
Mr Aroyehun noted that the port corridor into Apapa and Tin Can Port is now free of traffic because there are no cargoes to lift from the port and truckers have sold their trucks.
“It is not only the efforts of PSTT that has freed the port corridors, we are no longer in business, our members have sold their trucks.
“If you need a truck going from Tin Can Port to Agbara for N180,000, when you buy gas and so on, you have to give N30,000 to the driver because of the area boys on the roads.
“The VIO have prosecuted us and they are tired, each time you fix your headlamps, it would be broken again by these boys, our trucks are now rickety, destroyed by these hoodlums and the money to fix them is no longer there.
“We are not protected, the business that is supposed to be done by indigenous companies have been taken over by multinationals, you would see hundreds of trucks owned by foreigners, Bollore, Medlock and so on” he alleged