The Logistics Practitioners Association of Nigeria (LPAN) has called for the intervention of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Inspector-General of Police to look into what it called extortion of its members at the nation’s ports.
The association, a business group at the Nigerian air and sea ports, specifically wants an investigation into allegations of extortion of cargo transporters through collection of N40,000 per truck access fee on the Mile 2 – Tin Can Island route to Apapa Port, Lagos, by a group identified as Truck Owners.
The LPAN alleged that the said Truck Owners operate in collaboration with the Presidential Task Force on Apapa Gridlock in the Mile 2 axis.
The association, in a statement on Sunday by its public relations officer, Tunde Oyebola, stated that its members, over the years, have been engaging in legitimate cargo transportation business at the country’s air and sea ports.
Oyebola noted that the said group, Truck Owners, is not known to any law in Nigeria or registered under Trade Union Act nor has it any legal mandate to regulate traffic or impose fees on transporters in the country.
He argued that, as Truck Owners, they should concentrate on their transportation business than collecting levies from truck drivers that are supposed to be their workers.
He said, “We, therefore, seek the urgent intervention of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Inspector-General of Police to conduct an investigation into this illegal practice to ensure that the noble purpose for which President Muhammadu Buhari set up the Task Force to clear the Apapa Gridlock is not defeated and lost to extortioners.”
Oyebola alleged that the activities of the said Truck Owners have created new bottlenecks to the ease of doing business at the Apapa Port.