Trucks Transit Parks Ltd (TTP), the operator of the Eto electronic call-up system, has accused truckers of engaging in fraudulent activities including ticket racketeering and reselling of tickets at inflated prices.
Irabor Akonoman, head of Operations at Trucks Transit Parks Ltd, disclosed this in a statement issued in response to reports alleging corruption in the sale of eto tickets at Lagos Ports.
“The primary issue with irregularities arises from the fact that truckers, fail to affix their plate numbers on their vehicles. Consequently, this allows for the potential swapping of plate numbers between trucks, leading to the resale of tickets at inflated prices.
“It is important to emphasize that these practices are not endorsed or facilitated by Trucks Transit Parks Ltd or the ETO system. The escalated costs reported are a result of individual truckers engaging in fraudulent activities, reselling their own tickets at prices significantly above the standard rates,” he said.
According to him, the act is against the laid down standard operating procedure put in place by the Nigerian Ports Authority for the electronic call-up system for Apapa and Tin-Can Ports.
“This practice is detrimental to the industry and the interest of truckers in general. TTP condemns such behaviour and actively discourages any involvement in ticket racketeering. Truckers found to have engaged in this practice are blacklisted with the approval of NPA,” he warned.
He pointed out that the approved and standard pricing structure of eto is transparent and fixed.
He said the costs range from N10,750 and not exceeding 21,500 with VAT inclusive, and the price depends on the parks or the pre-gate that trucks are electronically scheduled to go through before they are batched and released to the port.
He said while some truckers possess the knowledge and ability to book Eto tickets through the standard procedures, some opt to circumvent the process by not using their tickets but reselling them to those in a hurry to access the port.
“This involves purchasing tickets, often at exorbitant prices from individuals who have already processed theirs, and for some reason become unable to carry out their business at the port,” he explained.
With the approval of the NPA, Akonoman said that a consequence management system has been implemented to immediately disable the truck or user account of any transporter or agents found to have committed this infraction or any other ones that contravenes the SOP and sabotage the success of the electronic call-up system.
From its inception, Trucks Transit Parks Ltd has been committed to addressing emerging challenges to the implementation of the call-up system and is actively collaborating with relevant authorities.
“We are in the process of implementing advanced technologies such as Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) and other measures, including the mandatory display of permanent plate numbers on trucks. These initiatives aim to prevent the swapping of plate numbers and, subsequently, discourage ticket racketeering,” Akonoman assured.