Haulage operators under the aegis of the Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMATO) have urged the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) to stop auctioning trucks arrested for carrying banned and other prohibited items.
In a statement made available to newsmen by the leadership of AMATO, the group also urged the National Assembly to intervene in the matter since truckers don’t do import and export business.
The statement read “we are not smugglers, and we only carry goods on behalf of the owners. First, we recognize the important role Customs plays not only in our nation’s economy, but also to ensure that our country is not turned into a dumping ground.
“Therefore, we truckers are using this medium to draw the attention of the National Assembly to the age long misjudgment that we truckers in the maritime Industry have been going through, due to the nefarious activities of some dubious Importers/Exporters and their collaborator agents who use our trucks for their illicit activities.”
The group, therefore pleaded with the National Assembly to prevail on the management of the NCS to stop auctioning their trucks and release all arrested trucks for carrying containers said to contain offending goods.
The haulage operators stressed: “We considered the said offences to be none of our fault for the following reasons: We are neither the importer nor the exporter of the goods in the containers; We are not privy to the documents used to clear the containers; We only get involved when all the necessary payment and clearing processes is said to have being completed.
“Our involvement is just the carriage of the containers, and so, it is unfair to be using truckers as scapegoats for the offence committed by others.”