Extortion has now been eliminated – Port Manager
By Godwin Oritse
THE Apapa branch of the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria, RTEAN, has threatened to institute a legal action against the management of the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, if it does not stop its personnel from extorting its members inside the Tin-Can Island Port.
Alleging extortions by officials of the NPA and the Nigeria Police deployed at the port, the 25th Vice Chairman of the association Lagos State, Mr. Adeola Adeyemi, told Vanguard Maritime Report that there are about eight extortion points inside the port mounted by officials of both organizations.
Adeyemi, who is a truck owner and Vice Chairman of the Council of Maritime Truck Owners Association, COMTUA, also said that between Anyman Canteen and Tin-Can Second gate, a total of N84,000 is extorted from each truck on a daily basis.
He explained that the situation is so bad that trucks with Electronic Call up slip are not allowed into the port because the corrupt personnel are not able to extort them adding that the development has given room to increased illegality of truck entry and exit of the ports.
He said; ‘‘They are extorting so much from us; from Anyman Canteen into the port, between N60,000 and N65,000 is paid by each truck. I personally visited the Port Security Officer, Mr. Albert Onyeka, two days ago to report the development and he only told me that he will work on it.
‘‘What is happening at the Tin-Can Island port is illegal passing of trucks but extortion by officials of NPA right inside and that is why many truck drivers refuse to enter the port.
‘‘There are five or six extortion points right inside the port where drivers are extorted. After you paid at NAPS garage, near Anyman Canteen, they will request N20,000 from us, from there to the Round About in front of the administrative building of the Tin-Can Island Port, another N10,000 is paid by truck drivers and immediately after the gate another N5,000 is paid which lead to Five Star Logistics to your left and Port and Cargo to your right.
‘‘After the payment of N5,000, if you are going to Port and Cargo, you will spend additional N15,000 for Police, NPA officials and for members of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria, MWUN.
‘‘Immediately after the round-about and if you are going to Tin-Can Second gate, you will pay another N20,000 at a particular junction along the port access road. Once you get to flat body gate, as you know Flat body will not follow normal container lane and at that flat body gate you will pay N5,000.
’‘After the flat body gate, the next junction is called Arisekola along the same port access road where illegal container striping was being done before now, they collect N10,000 there. Before Second gate round about there are some Unions that are not known to us, they also collect N4,000.
‘‘Then at Second gate round-about we will pay N5,000 before truck drivers are inside to port to pick up containers.’’
Adeyemi also said he can make available ten truck owners who have been victims of the extortion currently being perpetuated by officials of the NPA and the Police right inside the port.
‘‘Meanwhile, the Port Manager of the Tin-Can Island Port, Mr. Yinusa Ibrahim, denied the allegations saying that there was no room for any form of extortion as the Task Force initiated by both the Lagos State Government and the management of the NPA have cleared all the shanties in and around the port premises.
Ibrahim confirmed that there was extortion before his redeployment to Tin-Can but said that he has put a stop to the practice adding that most times the issue only takes place at night when he must have closed and gone home.
He stated: ‘‘There is nothing like that, they are the cause of whatever problem in Tin-Can and we have destroyed all the shanties, you can go to Tin-Can and see for yourself.
‘‘We have destroyed the houses of those area boys that have been disturbing them, we have destroyed all their shanties, there is no body on the road again.
‘‘Before I came I heard there was extortion particularly at night and I reported to my management and Committee was set up to clear the shanties.’’
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