Alhaji Abdullahi Inuwa, chief executive officer, Gee Gee Global Enterprises Nigeria Ltd., on Thursday urged the federal government to give marching orders to security agencies to stop extortion at the ports.
Inuwa, a former Vice Chairman, the Dry Cargo section of the National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO), made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) hoodlums mount roadblocks from TinCan second gate through the Apapa-Oshodi Expressway to Mile 2, demanding money from trucks before they are allowed to pass.
According to Inuwa, extortion, lack of condusive business environment, insecurity and others are hampering the trucking business in the country.
He urged the federal government to create an enabling environment for stakeholders, and also render assistance to truck owners to calm the tension and challenges they are facing.
“On extortion, the government has a good role to play because most of the places that these non-state actors operate are on federal government roads.
“If matching orders are given to all the security agencies in those areas, that is, from the commissioner, area commander to their deputies, they can do something in that regard,” he said.
He noted that the first quarter of the year was not easy as it was characterised by so many issues, such as extortion, increased prices of diesel, high cost of spare parts and others.
He said these challenges, which members were still facing had made many of them to park their trucks and some others sell their trucks to engage in other businesses.
“It has not been easy lately; the global challenge of COVID-19 had affected businesses and now adding the Ukraine-Russia war, which has also affected importation.
“It is so unfortunate that for so many of us, what we know is the trucking business and as such the numerous challenges in the transport business are adversely affecting us,” he said.
On the new app ‘Tafiyah’ meant for accelerating cargo movement introduced by the Truck Transit Park (TTP), introduced in February, Inuwa urged the operators to be economical with the system.
NAN also reports that TTP is an innovative traffic management company that leverages technology to help decongest Nigerian ports.
“Before they introduced theirs, there were many people who were into this transportation thing; does it mean they want to take over their jobs and push them out of the market.
“Things are hard now and they have to be very careful because the security issue in the country is very serious.
“It is a good innovation but they have to be very careful because presently there are no cargoes to carry,” he said.