NARTO, MWUN, NAMTOP, Visit Port Managers, Ports Police Command
By Jerry Aguigbo
The Collaboration of National Road Transport Owners (NARTO), Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), and Nexus Association of Truck Operators (NAMTOP) led by Comrade (Prince) Adewale Adeyanju, fnli HFCPSP paid a courtesy visit to the Port Manager, Tincan Island, Mr. Sylvester Egede; the Apapa Port Manager, Mr. Charles Okaga; and the Apapa Ports Police Command, under the Commissioner of Police, (CP) Lanre Ishola to intimate them of the aims and objectives of this collaboration.
Amongst major issues discussed were the welfare of the trucks drivers, which they said was very paramount. The question of proper identification of drivers and their trucks were addressed as against the previous modus operandi of drivers having more than one plate numbers for a truck, which was said to have impeded the smooth operations.
In response, the Unions assured their hosts that such ugly practices will be seriously looked into and will never resurface again, given the aims of coalition.
The Tincan Island Port Manager expressed gratitude over the visit of Prince Adeyanju, saying that since he (Sylvester) assumed office, this was the first time the number one maritime labour leader was paying him a visit, even though, it was on the ground of the fusion.
In turn, the Unions also sensitized the Ports Managers on the arrangement on ticketing for the truckers within the port premises; which they seriously emphasized as the exclusive right of the Unions as stipulated in its constitution as ticketing for its truckers is within the ports zones only and not for any external body outside the ports to come into the ports for such revenue drive as it’s against the ports regulations as the ports are regulated by the federal government of Nigeria and as such, are not under the state or the local governments authority.
On his part,the Apapa Port Manager, Mr. Charles Okaga, also raised and addressed some vital issues that have been negating port operations especially on the side of the truckers, which the port authority had also taken a very drastic decision about. He also said that it’s evident now that the ports access roads are averagely free from traffic congestions, but regretted that the e-call up systems is still not perfect, but said it must be rejigged for efficient and effective port operations and it is also important for the truckers to be sincere and disciplined in the course of their operations to ensure sanity in the port operations.
In similar vein, the Commissioner of Police, Port Command, CP Lanre Ishola was also briefed about the challenges by truck drivers in the hands of security agencies particularly outside the ports zones, where outrageous extortions from truck drivers are at alarming rate. The collaborating parties appealed to the police chief to use his good office to check this anomaly confronting the truckers.
Responding, the police boss, said that anything beyond 200mtrs distance from the port area are not under his jurisdiction but that if such incident happens within the port, the matter should be reported to him directly.
He however promised to look into the allegations holistically and when and where found to be true, he would assist by taking the matter to the Lagos State Police Command. In same gesture, the CP of the Port Command also promised to work with the Team provided it is within the confines of the laws, this is given to the commitment of the collaboration on the welfare of the truck drivers and the robust package of condition of service.
Prince Adeyanju on behalf of the BoT members in the entourage thanked the Commissioner of Police for the warm reception accorded them; and his genuine willingness to work and to cooperate with them towards ensuring a seamless trucking operational service within the ports premises.