By Giwa SHILE
The President of Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMATO) Chief Remi Ogungbemi, has called on the Federal and Lagos State Governments to make the maintenance of the ports roads a priority.
Ogungbemi, while evaluating the operational costs of business in Apapa, said on Friday in Lagos that, the maintenance of the roads should be a priority.
The AMATO president said that the economic importance of the roads ought not be jettisoned as the bad condition of the roads was impacting negatively on the port users.
“Going to Apapa has become a daily nightmare that everybody that has anything to do in the port have to contend with.
“To bring ones truck to load cargoes in the port, a whole lot of problems has to be taken into consideration; which normally should not be.
“Taking a cargo-laden truck out of the port is worrisome as truck owners and their drivers have to contend with delays and falling of trucks caused by bad roads,’’ Ogungbemi said.
According to him, truck drivers have become “money-spinning machines’’ to traffic officers at the port.
He said that the traffic officers from the Federal and the Lagos State Governments milked the drivers and their owners dry without providing any relief.
“We have met severally with the supervisory agencies but they keeping passing the buck.
“I want to still use this medium to appeal to the Lagos State Government as the landlord of the area to prioritise the repair of the roads.
“From the primer port in Apapa to the Kirikiri Lighter Terminal, you will see officials of the state government collecting all manner of revenue.
“Part of this money ought to be channelled into reconstruction of the bad roads at the ports.
“The situation is worsened by disagreement on jurisdiction between the state and the Federal Government,’’ he said.
Ogungbemi said that the situation was having a negative toll on maritime business.
With the rains, ports link roads have become impassable with trucks on queue for days waiting to be loaded.