Truckers in Nigeria’s transport sector have expressed worry over looming rise in unemployment in the country.
They also decried 50 per cent drop in cargoes coming into the country, further sparking fears of unemployment in the sector.
The group also lamented a 60 per cent reduction in haulage fares, leading to job insecurity in the sector.
Disclosing this during an interview, the Chairman, dry cargo section, Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO), Abdullahi Inuwa, said the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic were still affecting the sector till date.
Inuwa, who blamed lack of empty containers in Europe for shipment of cargos and high exchange rate as reasons for the drop in cargoes, said “activities in the Ports are low, and there is drop in importation.
.”The global challenge of Covid-19 has affected everything globally. You can even understand now that even in Europe, there is scarcity of empty containers to carry cargoes. Apart from that, you know that high cost of exchange rate has also affected importation, he said.
He also blamed government policies made through their agencies, such as the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), as part of what is affecting importation.
The NARTO boss said apart from the Federal Government, the next biggest employer of labour is the transport sector, noting that a lot of people would be out of job due to drop in cargoes.
“On the transport sector, transportation is a very big chain of movement because next to the Federal Government in terms of employment is the transportation sector.
“When you say there is drop in importation and there is no cargo, at least the importation has dropped by more than 50 per cent for cargoes.
“So, as you know, it has thrown a whole lot of people out of job because it is when there are cargoes that there will be jobs.
“I cannot quantify how much we are losing, but what I know is that a single truck feeds about 20 people, aside the owner.
“So, when there are no cargoes, you can imagine the number of persons that will not be able to feed”, he said.
Inuwa explained further that “when they tell you that there is over 50 per cent drop in cargo, you know that it will affect a whole lot of people. One thing you are supposed to understand is that Lagos State is a centre where all the activities happen.
“I do not have the statistics of how many trucks that are out of work now, but from our own assumption, it is difficult for agents to get trucks to carry their cargoes.
“Now, more than 50 trucks rush for just one terminal delivery order brought by an agent. This has crashed the fares of trucks from N350, 000 to N400, 000 it used to be before now to N180, 000 that it is now,” he said.
NPA Warns Against Illegal Containers Stripping On Port Access Roads
The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has warned against the illegal stripping of containers by drivers and terminal operators along the port access road.
Managing Director, NPA, Mohammed Bello Koko, issued the warning during a visit to Tin-Can Island Port where he inspected designated container stripping yards around the port.
He warned that truckers caught in the act stand the risk of being delisted from the electronic call-up system platform managed by the Trucks Transit Parks (TTP).
Bello Koko said container stripping on the port access road violates operational guidelines and will no longer be condoned.
He also announced that NPA has rolled out standard operating procedures for barge operators.
BMTA Urges FG To Fix Moribund Refineries
Following the incessant hikes on petroleum pump price in the country, Bonny Maritime Transport Association (BMTA) has urged the Federal Government of Nigeria to fix all the moribund refineries to production capacity
The Association said the repairs of the refineries would reduce the high cost of petrol pump price and alleviate poverty in the land.
Safety officer, BMTA, Comrade Kings Dume, stated this to TheTide during an interview in Port Harcourt.
Dume, who decried the hardship ordinary Nigerians were facing, said boat users hardly travel by water due to high cost of transport fare.
He said a boat journey from Port Harcourt to Bonny Island now cost between N6000 and N6500 per passenger, making it difficulty for travelers to board boats to and from their home town.
According to him, if the pump price keeps skyrocketing, there is every tendency that boat fare may be increased from N6000 to N8000 per passenger this Christmas season
He further noted that the inability of the Federal Government to repair the refineries has brought untold hardships, hunger and suffering to homes.
“Cost of living has skyrocketed everywhere and everyday, the poor can no longer go to market, parents can no longer pay bills and most children have dropped from schools due to poverty and hardships”, he stated.
He lamented that most boat operators were no longer in business due to high cost of procuring spare parts, engine oil and patrol to power their boats.
Comrade Dume appealed to the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu-led government to see reasons and fix all the moribund refineries for use to end hardship and poverty ravaging the land.
He noted that the repair of the refineries by this administration “would bring succour and confidence to an average Nigerian”.
Customs Partners Copyright Commission To End Piracy
In a bid to end all forms of piracy and other social vices, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has expressed readiness to collaborate with the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) to end piracy of intellectual and creative property in Nigeria.
Customs said their collaboration would create opportunities for the two parties to establish a significant legacy that will end the menace of piracy in the country.
Comptroller General, Customs, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi, disclosed this while receiving members of the Commission at the Customs Corporate Headquarters in Abuja.
He explained that the NCS had concluded plans to collaborate with relevant stakeholders, enhancing its programmes in all aspects through creative activities and training of its staff.
On the need to organize training for the Service’s officers in combating piracy, Adeniyi said, “the programme will introduce officers and men of the Service to new values and expertise that would enhance their capacity and morale to fight piracy”.
The Comptroller General, who noted the importance of the collaboration, said protecting creative and intellectual property significantly contributes to the country’s economic growth.
Earlier, leader of the delegation and Director General, NCC, Dr. John Asein, expressed his appreciation to the NCS for the importance of addressing piracy of intellectual and creative property.
“The idea behind paying this courtesy visit to you, Comptroller General Bashir Adewale Adeniyi, was to congratulate you on your appointment and to extend our hands for collaboration to end piracy”, he stated.
The DG further explained that “apart from strengthening the creative skills of officers and men in various sectors, the commission would achieve its mandate by working with the NCS”.
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