NPA begins implementation of minimum standards for operational trucks at ports

 The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has commenced the implementation of the minimum standards for haulage trucks operating in the ports today.
The Apapa Port Manager, Anas Nasir, said in Lagos that the NPA would begin with more of an awareness campaign for the truck drivers.
It would be recalled that the NPA had earlier informed the Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMATO) of its intended implementation exercise, which was also acknowledged by the association.
Nasir said this strategy was necessitated by the truck association’s appeal to make the truck standards implementation a gradual process, so that people were not pushed out of business.

“We are going to take a gradual approach in enforcing the minimum standards for operational trucks in the port because the association appealed for reasons of the time of the year.
“Being the last quarter of the year, there may be high demand for their services and it may be hard on business if a number of them cannot operate, Nasir said.
The port manager however noted that adopting a mild approach for now did not mean safety standards would be jeopardised just to please anyone.
He said it was even very important to educate the drivers on the need to maintain their trucks, as a part of the required standard.
“It will just be a period to allow the drivers key into the new agreement and requirement, and it is hoped that they will take it seriously,” the port manager said.
He also pointed out that if the rickety trucks were not patronised by the agents the truck owners would be forced to keep up to minimum standards.
Chief Remi Ogungbemi, the Chairman, Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMATO) said it was agreed that the minimum standard implementation be started on a campaign note, to create awareness.
He said since Nigeria was not a truck manufacturer it was obvious that a number of the trucks were old, and therefore appealed that the NPA considered such factors to give them time.
Ogungbemi also pointed out that many of the truck owners were unable to maintain their trucks because of the burden of multiple levies imposed on them by different government agencies.
“The truck maintenance had been greatly challenged by the multiple levies truck owners pay to different agencies of government regularly.
“After such payments the truck owner has very little money left to care for themselves and maintain their trucks.
“It is particularly difficult each time a truck breaks down on the road. The state traffic agency, LASTMA, has not made the problem any lighter.
“The truck owners and the drivers are going through a tough time and the public should know it so,” Ogungbemi said.
The NPA stated that the things to check for the minimum standards include the truck head, the carriage unit, the tyres, the vehicle particulars and warning device.