Truckers threaten to sue NPA over electronic call-up system - THE GUARDIAN
By Adaku Onyenucheya
Truck owners and drivers under the aegis of the Council of Maritime Transport Unions and Associations (COMTUA) have threatened the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) with legal action over its refusal to address alleged illegal extortions and other corruption activities in the electronic call up system.
Counsel to the union, Ebun-olu Adegboruwa (SAN) made this known in a legal notice sent to the NPA Acting Managing Director, Mohammed Bello-Koko yesterday, titled: ‘Notice of Intention to Commence a Suit against the Nigerian Ports Authority Pursuant to Section 92 (1) of the Nigerian Ports Authority ACT CAP 126, LFN 2004’.
The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi; Commissioner of Transportation, Lagos State, Frederic Oladeinde and the Truck Transit Park Ltd (TTP) administrators were copied in the notice made available to The Guardian.
Adegboruwa said the action is informed by the unfair activities and the lack of response to previous letters of complaint written to NPA’s management.
He said the facts presented by the union include reported cases of discrepancies and misrepresentation of facts and figures emanating from the electronic call-up regime created by Truck Transit Park Ltd and breach of agreement on the part of the NPA.
The counsel said while N10, 000 was the agreed amount for the booking process as entry permit into the terminal, the truckers are now charged N31, 250.
He said contrary to the intent and purpose of TTP, which was meant to eradicate payment checkpoints, there has been a proliferation of illegal checkpoints along the terminal routes with attendant extortion of N5, 000 per checkpoint.
Also, truck drivers now pay between N50, 000 to N150, 000 to return empty containers at the authorised holding bay, he said.
Adegboruwa said there have also been cases of alleged connivance and abuse of office by the holding bay operators and other agencies of government who would arrest and impound trucks to illegally extort money from them.
The counsel said the initial arrangements that trucks would move from the satellite parks to the pre-gate and then into the terminal within two days has not been realised as it takes trucks weeks to get to the terminal.