NPA Embroiled in Alleged N20,000 Extortion from Truck Drivers At Onne Port

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Muhammed Bello-Koko

…APFFLON Tackles NPA, Says Collection Anti-Masses

By DAPO OLAWUNI

The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) is currently embroiled in an allegation of extortion by truck drivers over the introduction of a truck park and payment of N20,000 by truck drivers for them to compulsorily make use of the park at Onne Port.

Otunba Frank Ogunojemite, National President of APFFLON

In a letter to the NPA Port Manager, Onne Port, dated 12th of March, 2024 by Winning Associates, Counsel to the African Associaton of Professional Freight Forwarders and Logistics (APFFLON), the association alleged that NPA recently introduced a truck park being managed by a company; LP Consult.

According to APFFLON trucks are now being forcefully diverted to the Park by LP Consult, whether they have their own parks or not.

“That each Truck so diverted were made to pay N10,000 at the entrance of the Park and another N10,000 at the exit to be shared by the LP Consult, Union and other who knows who.

“That LP Consult claimed that:
(a) They are acting under the instructions of the Nigerian Ports Authority. (b) The same practice is obtainable in Lagos. (c) There will soon be Trucks call up in all Terminals.

“That this extra unnecessary means of extortion will further increase the general price of goods, frustrate and chase Shippers out of the business and in turn bring more hardship to the masses.

“This is totally against the policies of the Federal Government and the agenda of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“Our instructions from Our Client and purpose of writing to you is this: That if the conditions and state of affairs listed above are indeed from the Nigerian Port Authority, the Nigerian Ports Authority should issue a Memo to the effect that:

“1. The LP Consult is working under the Nigerian Ports Authority as claimed by LP Consult. 2. All Trucks must pass through the Park 3. All Trucks must make payments of N10,000 (Ten Thousand Naira) at the entrance and N10,000 (Ten Thousand Naira) at the exit gate.

“NOTE: if the Park had been leased to LP Consult, or any other Union or individual, it will be illegal for Our Clients or any other person to be forced against their will to be made to park in a place against their will and be made pay N20,000 (Twenty Thousand) per Truck.

“Our Clients are not unaware of the proposed E call off, which is designed to facilitate trade and not create hardship. They are aware that Trucks are to pass through a transit park and get a ticket which at worst should not be more than N2,000 (Two Thousand Naira) only. We are highly assured of your timely response to this letter” Winning Associates stated.

National President of APFFLON, Otunba Frank Ogunojemite told our correspondent Tuesday that the crisis brewing at the port reached a crescendo and activities were grounded.

A meeting was subsequently called by the NPA Port Manager, Prince GC Zhattau, in attendance also were APFFLON chapter executives; Fwd Kolawole Atanda, Fwdr Kabir Issah, Fwdr Ayodeji Afolayan as well as Hon Uche from LP Consult.

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