Statistics and rough estimates have shown that the Nigerian loses more than N50 billion annually on truck terminal operations.
Disclosing this to The Tide in Port Harcourt, a chartered transporter, Mr. Basil Opara stated that his study and observation of neglect of construction of truck terminals by both federal and state governments has made several billions of naira to slip off a revenue from government coffers.
In his submission, Opara, who is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport of Nigeria (CILTN) described a truck terminal as a designated place of interchange for vehicles of about 20 tonnes of weight carrying liquid, gaseous or solid products and goods.
He said at this destined place, the drivers, especially those on long distance journey either rest or load products into their vehicles, and may as well re-load into another vehicle, and hence is described as a place of interchange.
According to him, “it is surprising to note that truck terminals could hardly be found, and in place of such, drivers on long distance journey and others make use of the road side on the high ways, and so imposing very greater difficulties to other road users.
In Port Harcourt area and environs alone which habours Eleme Petrochemical, Refinery, Onne Port and the free Zone Authority, Opara said that the trucks around this area out numbers 10,000, pointing out that if they are packed at the terminal, and a daily fee of N50 is collected, he said that will amount to almost half million Naira daily.
The same could be said at various points around Port Harcourt, including the cement factories and jetties where trucks anchor, and that if all of them are collated, that the revenue turn out in Port Harcourt area alone in truck terminal will be very surprising, adding that this could create job opportunity for people in the state.
In Lagos State, the chartered transporter said that the story is not different as about N20,000 trucks of different towns capacity converge around Apapa, Ijora, Nigerian Breweries among others in stretch.
He said most of these vehicles even park on top of the overhead bridge, pointing out that this could be another time bomb, if care is not taken.
Several areas across the country like the Ore Station in Ondo State and the Aviele near Benin City are good example of interchange where vehicles are packed at the road periphery, thereby putting more pressure on the road side.
Opara, however, remarked that the construction of truck terminals has symbolic relationship between government and the operators as well as other road users.
Immigration Steps Up Anti-Touting Vigilance
The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Passports Command, Ikoyi, has increased its surveillance on touting in a bid to check extortion within its jurisdiction.
Speaking in an exclusive chat with The Tide in Lagos, last Friday, the Immigration Comptroller, Passports Office, Ikoyi, Lagos, Deputy Comptroller Liman A.I , said the negative impact of touting on the nation’s economy would not be allowed to continue under his watch.
He said ,”we are applying persuasion, dialogue and seeking the support of all well meaning stakeholders in this area to spread the anti-touting message and dissuade people from unlawful acts. However, we could apply coercive power as the need arises.
“With the selfless leadership shown by the Comptroller General, Alhaji Mohammed Babandede, we at the PCO, Ikoyi, Lagos, have decided to re-dedicate ourselves to duty and complement the efforts of the CGIS.
“We are prepared more than ever to wage the anti-miscreants war relentlessly.
Liman assured the general public of friendly environment for legitimate transaction in an effort to strengthen the national economy, warning deviants to shun touting and other related vices.
According to him, “the command has keyed into the various strategies including the use of ICT in gathering of intelligence, among others.
“The service believes that the fight against miscreants within its corridor cannot be undertaken by the service alone, hence our call on Nigerians to partner with us in ensuring that the passport seekers do not patronise touts to defraud them. Our resolve is unshaken and our commitment is total”.
On her part, the Public Relations Officer of the command, a Deputy Superintendent of Immigration (DSI), Mrs Adetoun Shiyindemi, commended the Deputy Comptroller Liman, for his selfless service, pointing out that he has really given the officers and men of the command a sense of belonging.
“Since the Comptroller came in, it has been a servant-leader relationship here at Ikoyi PCO and we are all motivated to put in our best with what the CGIS has given us, you will see a new immigration service”, she assured.
By: NkpemenyieMcdominic, Lagos
Union Urges NIMASA, RSG To Dredge PH/Bonny Jetty
The Bonny Maritime Transport Association (BMTA) has called on the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the Rivers State Government to dredge the Port Harcourt/Bonny Jetty to enhance marine operations.
The union said the low shore of the river hampers its operations and grounds boats.
The Marine Safety Officer, BMTA, Comrade Kings Don, who made the call, said the low shore of the jetty was not helpful to marine operations.
According to him, drivers and passengers find it difficult to ply the route whenever the tide is low, thus wasting man hours.
“Sometimes, we push the boat to a level it would afloat due to low tide suffered in the jetty. We are appealing to NIMASA and the state government to assist and dredge the jetty for more efficiency”, he pleaded.
Don described the Port Harcourt/Bonny Jetty as the gateway to Bonny Island and other riverine communities, and called on NIMASA and the state government to intervene and make the marine sector viable in the area.
He said that the prompt dredging of the jetty would enhance water transportation in the state and improve its revenue generation.
He, however, commended the security agents, especially the Nigerian Navy and the marine police, for rescuing the waterways and creeks from all forms of criminality.
Comrade Don appealed to the security agents to engage in 24-hour patrol of the routes and other channels to save lives and property.
By: Chinedu Wosu
Boat Mishaps: Ship Owner Blames Absence Of Safety Regulations
A renowned ship owner in the country, Alhaji Aminu Umar, has decried lack of standardisation and enforcement of safety measures on the nation’s inland waterways by the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA).
He also blamed lack of will to enforce regulations, safety, standard and regulations on overloading, night voyage, rickety and old craft as causes of mishap on the inland waterways.
Alhaji Umar, who is a former president, Nigerian Shipowners Association (NISA), said in Minna, Niger State, recently that enforcement of safety and standard on the nation’s inland waterways was weak.
Reacting to incessant boat mishaps in the country, Umar said, “there is no standard applied on movement of people, as all kinds of boat are being used. It is important that we standardise, because lack of safety and standard will increase accident.
“I think, the task of NIWA is to standardise conditions and procedures on the nation’s waterways”.
He also called for the regulation of movement of badges and passenger boats across the port environment.
“It’s a huge risk allowing badges moving containers around the port area side by side with boats carrying passengers.
“Moving people and containers at the same time is a huge risk, and a safety concern.
“NIWA and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) should see to this and tackle the menace”, he said.
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