Govt to Facilitate Purchase of New Trucks for Maritime Transporters

AS part of measures to boost revenue profile in the maritime sector, the Federal Government has pledged to facilitate purchase of new trucks by relevant stakeholders in the maritime sector.

According to the Government, the initiative is also expected to fast-track turn around time at the nation’s seaport, eradicate traffic gridlock along ports’ access road, enhance safety and security, among others.

Director General of National Automotive Council (NAC), Aminu Jalal, an engineer, explained in a chat with The Guardian   that the agency is working in collaboration with Nigeria Shippers Council (NAC) to make the initiative a reality.

He said: “Truck owners operating in the sector have been informed. We are waiting for their response and request.  In the request, we expect them to specify type of vehicle, capacity, number of units among others”.

Explaining further, Jalal said: “It is like hire purchase. We are ready to facilitate the process. We intend to source the trucks from local manufacturers.  We will use our positions to ensure the conditions are attractive and favourable to the truck owners”.

Contacted, the President of Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMATO), Chief Remi Ogungbemi said the association’s major challenge is where to park the trucks.

He said: “We (truck owners) are aware of the plan. What we need now is a befitting truck terminal. We don’t want to collect new trucks and put them on the road. We need a truck terminal where we can convenient part the old and the new without obstructing the free flow of traffic”.

Another truck owners, who preferred to remain anonymous, called on parties involved in the negotiation to be transparent “in the interest of all stakeholders operating in the sector”.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has certified not less than 1,500 trucks inline with ongoing efforts to enforce minimum standards for operators at Lagos seaports.

According to NPA, the development is expected to bring sanity to the movement of goods within and around the ports.

Speaking at a meeting with representatives of Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) and the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) in Lagos, NPA’s General Manager in charge of Western Ports, Chief Michael Ajayi said the exercise would afford NPA the opportunity to collate data.

Ajayi said: “This exercise will afford NPA the opportunity of data collation for traffic and infrastructure planning process and to prevent sharp practices like theft and to serve as security measure to prevent any threat to security in the ports in compliance with the International Ships & Ports Facility Security Code (ISPS Code)”.

March 2nd, 2016  Guardian News