…Police, LASTMA, Oduduwa boys, urchins, others extort N61,000 from each truck driver daily
…lTTP call-up system not working—Truckers
LAGOS—WITHOUT the dismantling of illegal toll or extortion points along the Oshodi-Apapa Expressway and environs, it will be difficult to end the perennial gridlock on the axis.
Checks by Vanguard, which were corroborated by key sources in the areas showed that there are no fewer than 58 extortion points manned by the Police; Park and Garages ECOMOG, Oduduwa boys, Lagos State Traffic Management Agency (LASTMA), Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), Apapa LGA, and area boys among others.
Going inward Tincan along the expressway, there are 25 points where each truck driver pays N61,000.
Outward Tincan, there are 12 extortion points and a fee of N25,000.
In the Apapa corridor, there are 19 points and a toll of N52,000.
Oftentimes, there are disagreements between the drivers and the collectors of the fees leading to tight gridlock, which was also witnessed yesterday.
Apart from multiple extortion points, the insistence of Nigerian Customs on 100 per cent manual inspection of cargo despite the availability of technology in the form of scanners has also been fingered as a contributory factor to the gridlock menace.
Using technology in the form of scanners can examine cargo in quick time and eliminate the time lost to manual checks, which create delays and help to form the traffic tailback that aids and abets the activities of extortionists of the Port access road.
Exporters lament that despite the establishment of Export Processing Terminals, EPTs, by the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, which were designed as one-stop shops for the consolidated oversight by all government agencies with statutory oversight on export cargo, the Nigerian Customs still insist on opening cargoes for physical examination.
Another gridlock-causing factor is the indiscriminate parking of petroleum tankers. “The lawless parking of petroleum tankers on the port Coconut Junction towards Cele Junction and the attendant confusion that arises, contribute to make the situation of Tin-Can Port pathetically chaotic,” a source said.
TTP call-up system not working — Truckers
Also, The electronic truck call-up system, operated by the Truck Transit Park, TTP, is not working for the Oshodi, Mile2 inward Tin-can Island Port, trucker plying the route have said
Speaking with Vanguard on the issue, the National president of the Council of Maritime Truck Unions and Associations, COMTUA, Adeyinka Aroyewun, said the government lacks the political will to address the problem facing the haulage industry.
He said he had warned earlier that the introduction of the call-up system would not work because of the absence of the relevant infrastructure and adequate planning.
Aroyewun said his warnings then fell on deaf ears, noting that the consequences are long queues and trucks parking along the port access.
He described the call-up system as a fraud, saying: “You see the government lacks the political will to tackle the gridlock. This is an indication to everybody that the so-called electronic call-up regime has actually collapsed and it is because of the incompetence of the handlers. The problem from time is not the electronic call-up system, it is congestion inside the port.
“Most of these containers you see outside are en route to the port, they either want to go and drop exports or are going to drop empty containers. However, the shipping companies do not have space facilities.
“From the holding bays, you have to move the containers to the port. After keeping it at the holding bay there must be a means to get the container to the port. When you need it at the port, you then request it but nobody is following up on it. The holding bay will just load it on trucks and send it to the terminals and there is a disconnect between terminal operators and the so-called electronic call-up administrators.
“The moment the container is coming, you notify them and get a clearance from the terminal operator that the container is coming but when you get to the gate, the terminal operator will tell you they are not expecting your container.
“We are just paying for the matching of the containers which is consuming N10,000 of our hard-earned income. It is nothing but fraud.
Extortion or checkpoints inward Tin-Can Island Port
Fatgbems: N2,000 (Park and Garages Adeola, LASTMA); After FATGBEMS N2,000 (Park and Garages Deola); Descending Mile 2 N2,000 (Park and Garages Ecomog); Mile2 top bridge: N5,000 (Park and Garages ECOMOG, Police, LASTMA); Freedom: N2,000 (Police); Otto Whoff: N2000 (Park and Garages ECOMOG, Police and LASTMA); UBA: N6000 (Park/Garages, Police, LASTMA); Kirikiri bridge: N2000 (Police); RRS: N4000 (Park and Garage Student, Police); MTN: N2000 (Park/ Garages Student, Police); Before Sunrise: N2000 (MWUN Tao); Sunrise: N6000 (MWUN, Park and Garages); Brawal Roundabout: N2,000 (MWUN Tao); Brawal Gate: N2,000 (MWUN Tao); Westminster: N2000 (MWUN Tao); Capital: N2,000 (MWUN Tao); Trinity: N2,000 (MWUN Park and Garages); Coconut: N2,000 (MWUN Tao); Top of Coconut bridge: N2000 (MWUN Tao); Down coconut: N2000 (MWUN); 1st Gate N2000 (MWUN Tao); Sand field: N2,000 (MWUN Tao); 2nd Gate Express road: N2,000 (MWUN Tao); MOB Under Bridge: N2,000 (MWUN Tao, Apapa LGA).
Outward Tincan (Apapa-Oshodi Expressway)
Abuja Area: N2,000 (MWUN Tao); On the Bridge: N3,000 (Police); Coconut: 2,000 (Park and Garages); Trinity Bridge: N2,000 (Park and Garages); Berger: N2,000 (Park and Garages); FRSC area: N2,000 (Park and Garages); NAPL: N2,000 (Park and Garages); Mile 2 Bridge: N2,000 (Park and Garages); Kirikiri junction under bridge: (Navy); Orile (Area boys) N2,000; Orile market: N2,000 (Police); Orile before Iganmu bridge: N1000 (area boys).
Apapa Port corridor
Ijora Olopa: N5,000; RRS before bridge: N1,000; Iganmu bridge: N1000; Sifax Ijora: N5,000; Ijora Seven-Up under bridge: three checkpoints, N1,000 each; Total Marine bridge: N5,000; Danlami: N2,000; Under tree Area B: N1,000; Area B three points: N3,000; Airways: N1,000; Eleganza: N1,000; Etisalat: N1000; Fidelity: N5,000; Mr Biggs: N10,000; After Mr Biggs: N1,000, Cocoa Board: N5,000; Port gate: N2,000; FirstBank: N1,000; Hullblyt: N1,000.