INVESTIGATIONS by the Nigerian Tribune has revealed that activities of some errant truckers and inability of Bonded terminals to fall under the Nigerian Ports Authority’s Minimum Safety Standard (MSS) regime is a major reason why rickety trucks still ply the nation’s highways, carrying cargo-laden containers.
Recall that the NPA introduced the issuance of the MSS regime for trucks in-order to rid the ports of rickety trucks following the incessant falling of containers from the back of trucks on unsuspecting motorists in Lagos
When the Nigerian Tribune got to the NPA Unit in-charge of issuance of MSS Stickers for trucks, many truck s that had been arrested were seen parked at the Ijora office of the NPA MSS uNIT over abuse of the MSS policy.
Speaking with the Nigerian Tribune over the issue, an official of the NPA MSS Unit who wouldn’t want his name in print as he has not been authorized to speak explained that, “There is no truck that is issued the MSS Sticker that is not inspected.
“Every request that we get, we send people out to go and inspect such truck. If the truck does not meet the requirement, it will not be issued the MSS Sticker.
“The problem we are having is from the truckers themselves. When we inspect a truck and issue the MSS Sticker, we have found out that the truckers are always in the habit of selling the MSS Sticker or swapping it once they are on the road.
“We will issue a sticker to a truck and find it on another truck around the ports. That is how dubious these truckers can be.
“We have been going out for monitoring and enforcement and have seen trucks that are using MSS Stickers that does not belong to them. Even today, my boys went out and arrested a truck that is having an MSS Sticker that was not issued to it by us. The issue of selling or swapping MSS Stickers by truckers is frustrating our efforts to rid the ports off rickety trucks.
“It was when the NPA saw that a lot of the trucks that call at the ports are not road worthy, that is what gave birth to the MSS regime introduced by the NPA.
“We don’t do this inspection alone. We have an existing Mou with the FRSC. Anytime we are going out for inspection, FRSC officials always come with us.
“To further show you the extent of how truckers can be dubious, we have found out again that some truckers, after being issued MSS Sticker for one truck, will go and cut plate number that tally with the issued sticker for other trucks and start coming to the port to pick cargo.
“Another reason why rickety trucks still ply our roads is due to activities of the Bonded terminals. For now, the MSS Sticker regime does not cover or apply to trucks picking containers from bonded terminals. The bonded terminals are regulated by the Lagos State Government and not the NPA.
“The Bonded terminals are outside our jurisdiction because we only deal with the ports. So, any manner of truck can go to any Bonded terminal, pick a container and be on the road.”