Association blames hiked haulage cost on port city gridlock

The cost of transporting cargoes from Lagos ports would remain high unless the gridlock in the road network is addressed, the Vice Chairman, National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO)  Abdullahi Inuwa, has said.

Inuwa, the NARTO official in charge of Dry Cargo Section, Tin-Can Island Port, who stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), said the law of demand and supply was responsible for the hike in cost of cargo transportation.

He said the cost of moving cargo has risen to as high as N700,000 up from N120, 000 and N80,000 per container, some months ago within Lagos, adding that with the Apapa gridlock, accessibility to the ports by truckers is now an uphill task.

He said: “The establishment of holding bays to accommodate trucks and articulated vehicles before loading will put an end to the perennial gridlock. Owners of tank farms should provide facilities that will accommodate trucks coming into their facilities to load.

“We can have the private sector coming up with parks that some of the truck drivers can easily drive into and wait for loading, instead of parking along the streets in Apapa, thereby causing traffic congestion.

“Through this process, the next truck to load in the tank farms and terminals will be called through electronic call-up system. This method will reduce the gridlock.”
According to him, transporters have to contend with so many problems before loading, including extortion along the ports’ axis.

He, however, said it was regrettable that the end users of the transported goods paid for the various charges.

Inuwa urged the Federal Government to urgently look into the issues and come up with lasting solutions to save the masses from high cost of goods in the market.