By Steve Agbota
Truck owners and drivers operating at the Apapa and Tin Can Island Ports have decried the collapse of electronic call up system, which was recently introduced by Nigerian Ports Authority to manage truck movement and access to the Lagos ports.
This is even as they lamented that a lot of export containers (perishable goods) were trapped and getting spoilt inside containers with owners losing millions of naira as a result of traffic along the port corridor.
They also bemoaned the high rate of extortion being experienced in the hands of security officers even as they alleged that security agents were the ones frustrating the e-call up system.
Daily Sun learnt that the activities of security agents, coupled with the gridlock have, increased the cost of haulage by 50 percent. For instance, to move a container from the Tin Can Island Port, Lagos, to any part of the city now cost between N1.2 million and N1.8 million.
Association of Maritime Truck Owners Chairman , Remi Ogungbemi, said normally, there should be no human interference in the e-call up system. He said at present, there are so many irregularities and some human interferences in the system, which is why the extortion is still ongoing.
He said different people have their individual interest in the system, which is one of the reasons the e-call up system has not been working.
Vice Chairman, National Association of Road Transport Owners, Dry Cargo Sector, Abdullahi Inuwa, said unfortunately, the road construction has caused a lot of damages to the e-call up initiative, adding that a lot of people have been able to found their ways on how to collapse the system and they are succeeding.