Business

Port road crisis: Business community laments sustained extortion

Major crisis is still surrounding the introduction of electronic call-up system via the Eto App at Apapa and Tincan ports by the Federal Government as indications emerged that the business community and port users are losing so much to extortion by law enforcement agents. Particularly, the business community and port users lamented that the daily extortion has been going on before the Eto App introduction.

The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) observed that the mass extortion at the ports had resulted in difficulties in moving goods and clearing cargoes from the ports. Subsequently, the business community has continued to incur huge losses despite the interventions and steps taken by governments (federal and Lagos State) to arrest the situation.

The Chief Operating Officer of Trucks Transit Parks (TTP) Limited, the Designers and Managers of Eto truck call-up system, Mr. Temidayo Adeboye, said that poor compliance by truck owners/ drivers as well as deviant resistance from an extortion industry worth N100 million daily before the deployment of the electronic system for continued maritime traffic congestion was responsible. According to him, some actions of the truckers to circumvent ETO are fuelled by ignorance of the gains the new operational method would deliver to transporters if wholly embraced. Adeboye said it took his company over six years of painstaking research to understand Apapa gridlock and build the electronic solution deployed in February 2021. He stressed that over 50 per cent of Apapa traffic were bound to the ports, adding that the focus was to effectively regulate the maritime traffic and solve half the problem.

“We have been researching Apapa for over six years and now understand the demographics of different truck traffic, which can be categorised into three major parts, namely the maritime traffic, oil and gas traffic; the FMCG’s (fast-moving consumer goods), manufacturers and freelancers.

“Holistically, we couldn’t take these segments at once, so we believe that if we are able to solve the problem for the largest single demographic among these three categories, it means that half of the problem will be resolved.” However, LCCI is maintaining that the mass extortion following Eto App set up is now taking toll on the operations of the business community and port users. Speaking with New Telegraph on the port crisis, the President of LCCI, Mrs. Toki Mabogunje, explained that the business community and port users were facing bottlenecks with clearing of cargoes, especially the activities of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), which is constituting significant deadweight to the Eto App process.

 

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