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Container accidents: NPA’s Truck Standardisation policy not solution —Truckers

Following incessant falling of containers from the back of container-carrying-trucks around different locations in Lagos State, the Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMATO) has stated that the Truck Standardisation policy introduced by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) is not the solution to the problem.

Speaking with the Nigerian Tribune exclusively in Lagos, Chairman of AMATO, Chief Remi Ogungbemi, explained that the policy which was introduced by the NPA early in 2016 has not stopped containers from falling off the back of trucks and killing innocent citizens in different locations in Lagos State.

“I have told the NPA right after they introduced the Truck Standardisation policy that the initiative will not work because the trucks still move on the same roads, which are so bad.

“The roads that everyone has been using for about 40 to 60 years till date are the same roads that we truckers use. The volume of cargoes and subsequent truck traffic is increasing yearly, but the roads have not changed. So how do they expect the Truck Standardisation policy to work?

“The roads that were constructed about 40 to 60 years ago are not receiving adequate maintenance. Go to all the roads that feed the ports, from Tin-Can to Apapa, all of them have gradually become impassable for us truckers.

“There are gully all over the roads, therefore there is bound to be commotion and confusion. Containers will keep falling because the roads are not good. I told them right from inception but they are latching on my position to play their politics.

“I am not a politician and will not like to be dragged into any political statement. Whether the policy worked or not, I would not like to be dragged into it.

“Right from inception, I told the NPA that what they are doing is not the solution. There is need for expansion of road infrastructures. Even if the roads cannot be expanded, then why not maintain the road?” Ogungbemi said.

It would be recalled that the NPA on March 31, 2016 introduced the Truck Standardisation policy which was expected to stop the incessant falling of containers off the back of trucks in different locations in Lagos State.

The policy, which culminated in trucks being registered and issued a port entry permit at a cost of N10,000 was to forestall the movement of rickety trucks on the streets of Lagos.

However, despite the introduction of the policy, containers still fall off the back of trucks with the latest being the container accident on August 24, 2016, involving a fallen container truck and a Toyota Camry at the Onipanu area of Ikorodu Road, in Lagos. The truck driver lost his life while the Camry driver was seriously injured.