…Cabals Hijack Truck Movement, Haulage Prices Skyrockets
By DAPO OLAWUNI
Freight forwarders operating at Lagos Ports have raised an alarm over the return of impunity and corruption in the administration of the Eto Call-Up system for trucks by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and its technical partners; Truck Transit Park Limited (TTP)
Freight forwarders alleged that the Call-Up system for trucks which was initially issued for N27,000 is now being hoarded and made available to very few cabals who are now reselling it for N150,000.
DAILY TREND recalled that NPA had recently, temporarily suspended the release of flatbed trucks from Satellite truck parks to Pre-gate from entering various terminals inside the Lagos Port Complex.
Speaking with our correspondent on the attendant challenges currently being experienced as a result of the decision by NPA, Chairman of Lilypond Export Chapter of Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) Mr Femi Olabanji lamented that the ongoing corruption has led to an increase in haulage prices.
According to him, trucking of cargoes from the port has increased from N400,000 to N800,000 and as much as N1.2million.
“Right now, trucks can no longer enter into the terminal because the TTP and NPA would tell you that the portal is full, people are now going through the expressway direct into the port, this is a practice that has since been stopped through introduction of the Call up system.
“Today, people are buying the Call up for as much as N150,000 from TTP for the main truck park.
We are begging the government to look into this problem, we believe that NPA officials and TTP are the ones behind this corruption, without the backing of port officials, the Call up system which we are doing for N27,000 cannot be selling for N150,000.
“Meanwhile, demurrage on 40ft container at APM Terminal is N60,000 per day, while 20ft container demurrage is N45,000.
Before now, we were paying N15,000 as terminal charges before it was suddenly increased.
“These cabals would pass their trucks at night between 8pm till early in the morning. However, the normal trucks would not be allowed into the port in the afternoon, because the ones that entered at night are still inside. The TTP has turned the port into a business point.
“Initially, when you come into Lilypond truck park, within two days you are out with your consignment from the port, but today, its no longer like that.
“The Managing Director of NPA, the Port Police, the Lagos State Government, the Shippers Council and everyone concerned should look into this problem, because if we decide to take law into our own hands, they should not stop us, we cannot open our eyes for the past three weeks and be watching our trucks not being able to go into the port.
“They are telling us the portal is full and that we cannot go into the terminal, but they are generating the call-up system and selling it out for N150,000.
“The TTP System needs to be upgraded, they have returned us back to the old system whereby cabals control the movement of trucks into the port, they would not allow the the right thing to be done, they have paralysed the system and the TTP has accepted them.
“After buying the Call up for N150,000, you would use N30,000 to pass the truck into the port, sometimes, you can spend N200,000 before entering the port.
“This has taken away the whole grace of whatever achievements recorded before.
“Now there is a hike in haulage price because there are only special trucks that can go into the port. To take cargo from the port is now N800,000 upwards” Olabanji lamented
In a notice to truck drivers, owners and other stakeholders, the management of Truck Transit Parks, TTP, on behalf of NPA said that the release of trucks from the pre-gates will be made to match truck admittance of the various terminals.
According to the recent Notice, some level of delays in the release of trucks from the satellite parks to the pre-gates is anticipated.
Part of the notice reads: ” Following the resolution of the Ero Call up Project Implementation Committe, PIC on Thursday , November 2nd, 2023 around the need for improvement in traffic management along the LPC road corridor the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, has directed that the process for the release of flatbed trucks from Satellite parks to the pre-gates to LPC be halted temporarily”