11 July 2018

Nigeria: Govt Summons Striking Truck Drivers to Halt Economic Losses

In a bid to end the industrial action by truckers in Apapa that has paralysed activities at the nation's premier port in Lagos, the federal government has summoned the leadership of the Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMATO) to Abuja.

President of AMATO, Remi Ogungbemi told THISDAY yesterday that he is in Abuja following the summon of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha.

According to him, "I cannot talk on the strike action embarked upon by my members at the ports for now because I am already in Abuja to see the SGF, on the issue. Hopefully, the problem will be resolved with his intervention."

THISDAY had yesterday reported that the industrial action had paralysed activities at Lagos ports resulting to over 6,600 containers being trapped at the ports since the action commenced last Friday.

THISDAY had also reported that shipping lines had planned to impose an annual $150 million (N54 billion) congestion levy in the event that there is vessel cue arising from the massive congestion at the port.

THISDAY had visited the Ijora and Marine bridge yesterday to talk with some tanker drivers on what incited the attack, but met the bridge devoid of any as they were said to have fled over fears of a reprisal attack by the navy.

However, on moving further down the road that leads to Costain, some of the drivers parked by the road waiting up guage the situation before they can ascend the bridge to Apapa.

The drivers alleged that the joint task force was set up merely to fleece them of their hard earned money.

With the bid to find lasting solution to the irascible actions of tanker/truck drivers, who had hitherto ground Apapa and environs to a halt, foiled, the navy today said they were forced to withdraw given the attack on its personnel by the irate tanker drivers on Monday afternoon.

This recent attack on security personnel is not the first, as the tanker drivers had last year January gone on rampage at Creek Road, Apapa, over the death of one of their colleagues, setting two banks of fire.

The aggrieved tanker drivers had targeted the banks over the death of their colleague, who was allegedly shot by a mobile policeman attached to one of the new generation banks in that area.

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