Truck owners under the auspices of the Amalgamation of Container Truck Owners Association of Nigeria (ACTOAN) have written a protest letter to the Lagos State Government against the N150, 000 towing fees impose on broken-down trucks by officials of the state.
They also accused the Lagos State Government officials of rent-seeking and profiteering from the plight of truckers.
According to the letter, which was dated November 15, 2022, and addressed to Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the executive governor of the state, imposing a bill of N150,000 and more for towing a broken-down truck between the distance of 200 to 1,000 metres from the road, is not only outrageous but injurious to the survival of trucking business.
The letter signed by Ridwan Bello for the unified body of truck owners was to seek the approval of the Lagos State Government to enable the truckers to engage private towing firms to remove their broken-down trucks rather than leaving them to the State Government officials.
The letter titled, ‘Request to allow us to be Removing Our Broken down Trucks from the Road as a Panacea to the Outrageous Charges of the State Towing Actors,’ said the unified trucking body has come to take over some of the activities that are being pursued through individual trucking association with the Lagos State Government.
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“On the above subject matter, we write to revitalise our request as part of our desire for a peaceful, better working relationship with the State Government, and amicable resolution of issues without resorting to protest, chaos and lawlessness,” the truck owners said in the letter.
According to them, “This revitalisation becomes very necessary because the pain and the economic loses we are suffering on a daily basis are so enormous to the extent that we can no longer meet our financial exigencies and sustain our business due to the outrageous non-receipted bills and fines being imposed on us under the pretext of removing our broken down trucks from the road by the State towing actors.”
The truck owners said that in contrast to the outrageous charge of the Lagos State Towing actors, the services of private towing truck operators are very moderate but the state actors in most cases prevent them from engaging the service of private towing operators to remove their broken-down trucks.
They also said in the letter that any truck that breakdown must be immediately removed so it does not impede traffic or cause accidents that may claim life or property.
“The rate at which the State Actors hunt for breakdown trucks is more than how Hawks hunt for Chickens to catch and it is having a serious adverse effect on our business,” the truck owners said in the letter.
Continuing, they said: “We look forward to the approval of our request by the Lagos State Government as we have devised a quick and seamless method of removing our broken down trucks by ourselves from the road without rancor and much stress. Just as stated in our previous letter, we are fully ready to commence the exercise by ourselves in collaboration with the body of Towing Truck Association.”