The Committee of Freight Forwarders and Maritime Truck Owners (COFFAMAT) has issued a 48-hour ultimatum to the Presidential Task Team to vacate ports access roads in Lagos State.
They accused the team of extorting between N150, 000 to N180, 000 from truckers before they could access the ports.The Federal Government had late last year set up the team to ensure free flow of traffic on ports access roads and to stop trucks from packing on bridges.
The National Coordinator of National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) 100% Compliance Team, Alhaji Ibrahim Tanko, who gave the ultimatum in Lagos, said the team on traffic control had failed in its duties, noting that the traffic congestion on ports access roads has taken a horrible dimension.
He said: “Enough is enough. We can no longer accept it. We own the cargo while the transporters own the truck. I see no reason somebody will come and extort money from us. We have written letters to the Governor of Lagos State, the Commissioner of Police and to the Task Team.”
He, therefore, stated that shipping companies should henceforth provide holding bays for their empty containers, saying non-compliance would no longer be acceptable to them.
“We are giving them 48 hours from today to leave the roads. We don’t want to see anybody or the Presidential Task Team controlling our trucks for us. We are going to handle it by ourselves. By right, their tenure expired two months ago. I don’t know what they are still doing there.”
Also speaking, the Chairman, Association of Maritime Truck Owners, (AMATO), Remi Ogungbemi, said the nefarious activities of the team was responsible for the rising cost of goods in the market.
Ogungbemi further said the body was currently working with the economic regulator of the port, the Nigerian Shippers’ Council, to ensure a reduction in the cost of doing business at the ports to the barest minimum.