The euphoria was understandable. The year 2018 wasn’t a bad one for business for members of the Haulage and Drivers’ Association (HADAT) International Trade Fair Complex, Lagos, who converged recently at the Lake View Hotel within the Trade Fair Complex for an end-of-year party.
HADAT is an association that aims to lend a helping hand to the Trade Fair management and other associated market bodies to cut some ugly trends that blackmail the name of haulers, within and outside the society.
With MC Pampers as the compere for the event, the transporters had a swell time listening to his jokes, amid bouts of laughter. From the usual stereotypes to the audience themselves, the comedian had many sources to draw from. For the members of the association, who stayed off the road that Saturday, it was a day to remember.
The comedian wasn’t the only entertainer for the day. Music was provided by the Malaika Band. Highlife music suffused the air as the transporters danced away. Praise-singing was also part of the show.
Names of important personalities present, like the chairman of the association, Emmanuel Chukwuemeka, were turned into instant songs. That of the chairman on the occasion, Chief Kingsley Ugwu (Agba Ego Nkiti 1 of Nsukka), was also eulogised.
In his welcome address, Chukwuemeka informed the gathering that the association was formed as a result of the
yearnings of members for transparency and honesty. Though several efforts were made in the past by notable members in the industry to form the association, it was to no avail. It was not until last year that it became a reality, said Chukwuemeka.
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Within a short time, the dividends of having a united front have paid off. The HADAT chairman reeled out the
achievements of his executive council, which included maintaining peace and harmony within six arms of the market at the International Trade Fair Complex.
He noted that the association’s rapport with the Trade Fair management led to the reduction of gate fees that had been scaring away drivers from coming to work within the complex.
Another success story told by the Chukwuemeka-led executive was cutting down the ugly trend of goods diversion. He said, “There was a time this association caught a trailer having different plate numbers. The driver was later handed to the police, and was finally thrown into Kirikiri Maximum Prison, Apapa. Subsequently, all the fake haulers parading themselves in the Trade Fair Complex have disappeared.”
He stated that his executive was in the course of trying to bring total sanity in the haulage business despite the challenges before the association.
The successes recorded by the Chukwuemeka administration wouldn’t have been possible if it didn’t enjoy the co-operation of the Trade Fair management, he admitted. To this end, the HADAT chairman complimented it in his address for its “kindness, help and firm support.”
The elated chairman on the occasion said at the end of the event: “We thank God that everything went well. I have been in the Trade Fair for years but this is the first time we are coming together under one banner to move the interest of the association forward. It’s been, so far, so good.”
Another stakeholder in the haulage business, Mr. Jonathan Ezenwa, called on the state and federal governments to provide a better road network for their businesses to be hitch-free, “We need better road infrastructure, especially in Lagos, because most of the roads in Lagos are in a state of disrepair. Again, there are traffic jams here and there. To get out of Lagos in the morning is a major challenge for us.”
Lending his voice, Mr. Kingsley Ugwu, the MD, Ezimo Transport Nigeria, was optimistic that the association would grow higher, going by the successes recorded in 2018.
“I want the Lagos State Government to help us on security challenges. I thank Governor Ambode for what he has done so far by stopping the towing of our vehicles,” he said.