Truck operators begin strike over Lagos restriction order
• Congestion looms at ports over action
LOGISTICS operators under the aegis of Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMATO), yesterday commenced an indefinite strike over the restriction of their movements within the Lagos metropolis between six o’clock in the morning and nine o’clock in the evening by the state government.
The development may lead to congestion at the seaports as evacuation of goods at the gateways may be hampered.
Chairman of AMATO, Chief Remi Ogungbemi, who confirmed the development in a chat with The Guardian yesterday, insisted that there was no going back on the withdrawal of their services until issues surrounding the restriction order are addressed.
He disclosed that the management of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has opened discussions with the state government on how to resolve the crisis.
Highlighting security challenges, Ogungbemi explained, “The policy, restricting truck movement to night is difficult because the safety of our trucks, drivers and the cargoes cannot be guaranteed.”
Speaking against the backdrop of a fatal container truck accident, which claimed three lives at Ojuelegba in the state last week, Lagos State Government through its Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transportation, Oluseyi Whenu had said the trailer involved in the accident contravened Section 2 (i) (ii) of the Lagos State Road Traffic Law.
The state government subsequently announced plans to enforce the law on truck movements within the metropolis.
Whenu said: “The state government will henceforth go tough on any trailer and long vehicle that contravenes the law, as such vehicle will be impounded and made to pay the stipulated fine accordingly.”
The section of the state traffic law states that “any driver found contravening the provisions of this section shall have his vehicle impounded by a duly authorised officer of the authority and shall upon conviction, be liable to a fine of N50, 000 or a term of imprisonment for six months or both.”
Meanwhile, some truck drivers who spoke with The Guardian yesterday, appealed to the Federal and Lagos State governments to tighten security and fix bad sections of the roads leading to the port.