The Chairman of Road Transport Employers’ Association of Nigeria (RTEAN), Musa Mohammed has said that more than 400 trucks have left Apapa and Tincan port areas in Lagos in the past one year due to the dilapidated access roads which is yet to receive government’s attention.
The RTEAN boss, who disclosed this to journalists, said that majority of RTEAN members had left the truck business and delved into other ventures because they could no longer cope with the bad roads situation.
According to Musa, the problem on the port access road is affecting his members as containers keep falling daily.
Seeking government’s attention to address the urgent situation, Musa who was represented by the state’s Public Relations Officer (PRO), Comrade Abayomi Afini, said that RTEAN had written several letters to the National Assembly, Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA), and the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) but there was no response to the effect.
“Two years ago FERMA came, surveyed the area, and took some palliative measures which were washed off by the rain. The port access road requires a standard construction that will last long,” Musa said.
Adding his voice, Chairman, RTEAN, Tin Can chapter, Isiaka Olalere also complained of how the dilapidated road have affected their trucks, a situation he said is making members sell off their trucks as scraps.
“We are going out of the business gradually, because if you go to trailer parks, you will see truck owners cutting their trucks into parts and selling them. A truck owner with seven trucks last cannot boast of two due to the bad and dilapidated access roads. It is affecting our business seriously.
“Immediately the truck falls on the road, it becomes scrap as it will no longer be balance. Today most truck owners are cutting their trucks and selling as scraps as the dilapidated roads is affecting their businesses.
“Anyone that invests in truck business now will soon run out of business because where you are supposed to go two to three trips a day, you will not go more than once in a week due to the bad roads. The people you see buy new trucks daily are those that don’t know much about the road aspect of the port.
On alleged recklessness on the part of drivers parking on the roads and obstructing other road users, Olalere blamed the issue on lack of functional holding bay to drop empty containers. He said that the association ensured they educated their drivers regularly to ensure compliance on their trucks to meet minimum standard.
“The problem does not lie on the part of transporters. We don’t have functional holding bay. Some of the shipping companies do not have functional holding bay to drop empty containers, the drivers have to bring them back to the port, thereby causing gridlock on the access roads. That is why you see our vehicles littered on the road.
“We even advise our members them that rather than having four substandard trucks they should dispose two and use the proceeds to repair the other two to a standard level and they are complying. We are in support of minimum standard and we are repairing our vehicles,” Olalere said.