The Council of Maritime Transport Union and Association (COMTUA) says the Nigerian Ports Authority should unbundle its e-call-up system (Eto) to help curb extortion at the port corridor.
The outgoing president of the association, Thompson Olaleye, said this on Thursday during the maiden edition of the 2021 Delegate Convention of COMTUA in Lagos.
He noted that breaking the monopoly had to do with ensuring that other companies participate in the call-up system to have more options for truckers.
“The issue of extortion along the ports access roads is a major reason why the NPA E-call-up system needs to be unbundled. It seems the entire space is too big for the E-call-up manager, the Truck Transit Parks (TTP ), to manage,” Mr Olaleye explained. “If another company is allowed to handle Tin Can while TTP focuses on Apapa, the issue of extortion and other discrepancies won’t exist. If there is competition, the managers of the TTP will deliver in a better way.”
Mr Olaleye claimed that from Mile 2 down to Tin Can, there was nothing like a central control system where anybody was checking truckers documents or papers.
He said what one could see were illegal checkpoints mounted by some associations that had pulled out of the COMTUA and were collecting different monies from port users.
“If Eto is unbundled, there will be competition. The traffic managers will perform more effectively. Currently, the entire port area seems to be too big for just one company to handle,” he noted.
On the recent pulling out of two of its founding members, Mr Olaleye alleged that it was due to disagreement over the collection of money on the port access road.
“It was agreed that no member should collect money on the port access road due to the menace it causes, but they refused. After fruitless efforts to make them see reason, they have left COMTUA, and as I speak to you, their members are on the roads between Mile 2 and TinCan, collecting money from truckers,” he said.
However, he added that three new associations had joined COMTUA, Logistics Practitioners Association of Nigeria (LPAN), Young Truck Owners Association, and the entire corporate bodies of truckers, including Dangote, BUA Flourmills, amongst others.