Truck owners and haulage services providers operating at the nation's seaports have cried out to the Federal Government over the new Lagos State Traffic Law which restricts the movement of haulage trucks in the metropolis to night time only.
The three associations providing haulage services at the ports- the Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMATO), the AMATO Mainland Unit and the Truck Terminal Users Association (TTUA), who spoke to newsmen on the issue, urged the Federal Government to come to their aid and prevail on the state government to rescind that law as it puts the future of their businesses and the country's economy in jeopardy if enforced.
The truckers also hinted that it would proceed on an indefinite withdrawal of their services at the nation's seaports if nothing is done.
Speaking with journalists in Lagos, the trio of the AMATO Chairman, Chief Remi Ogungbemi, Chairman, AMATO Mainland Unit, Alhaji Razak Igbalaye and an Executive Member of the TTUA, Alhaji Ishola, explained that the decision of the truckers to withdraw services was a unanimous decision of the various truckers' associations in the state in order to save their members from further suffering.
Ogungbemi said, "We are all apprehensive of the new law and we see the policy as another plot by the government to empower security operatives to further exploit and extort money from our members. It is on record that the Federal Government, in collaboration with the state government, dislodged many of our members and since then, most of our members are still counting their losses. Some lost materials, some died naturally and some are half dead.
"We have been holding series of meetings but the majority opinion in the industry have it that it has gotten to a point that we can no longer be at ease. It has gotten to a point that we do not have any other thing than to withdraw our services because we cannot be working and giving away our monies to security operatives, who are either directly or indirectly empowered by one policy or the other."
While lamenting that truckers have been operating under a harsh environment for too long, the associations' bosses said truckers operating at the various ports and terminals across the state will keep their trucks away from these facilities. They also appealed to the Federal Government to prevail on the Lagos State Government to provide the truck operators with truck terminals.
The truckers, who accused the Lagos State Government of allegedly frustrating their plans to develop a truck terminal, noted that the state government had severally denied approvals for truckers who were willing to commit their monies to develop truck terminals.