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Shippers’ Council to partner with maritime truck owners to free port access road

LAGOS – The Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) on Monday said that the council would partner with the truck owners to enable the national economy to flourish.
The Executive Secretary of the council, Mr Hassan Bello, said this when the Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMATO) visited the council’s headquarters in Lagos.

Bello said that the partnership would hasten the decongestion of the port access road being blocked as a result of many trucks lined up on the road.

He said that there was need to upgrade the port access road, adding that the council had been trying to meet with many stakeholders on how to prevent trucks from blocking the access road to the port.

The NSC chief executive said that the council would discuss the cost of the initiative with the association, in order to moderate the costs of doing business at the port.

Bello said that the council was not in the position of fixing prices, but would moderate the tariff to ease the costs of doing business in the country.

He noted that the truckers had been filling the vacuum created by the absence of a rail system at the port.

“The truckers are performing a significant function in the economy.

“We are seeking the truck owners’ cooperation to enable the economy to be positive and the council’s role as the interim port regulator must extend to some services,” Bello said.

He said that the port system was complex and urged the truck owners not to limit their business to the port.

Bello urged AMATO to make sure that their trucks were of adequate quality to reduce damage to cargoes.

“The establishment of a Transit Park will assist the truckers to be diversified in their business and will also enable them to be comfortable and at rest, while travelling within the country,” Bello said.

Speaking earlier, Chief Remi Ogungbemi, the President of AMATO, said that the association was committed to the success of moving the maritime industry forward.

“Our association has been re-branded and restructured, in line with the economy.” he said.

Ogungbemi said that the establishment of the Transit Park which the NSC says, would be done through the Public/Private Partnership (PPP), would create sanity and orderliness on the port access road.

“It is not intentional of the truckers to be packing trucks on the road but the terminal and other activities have taken over the area,” Ogunbemi said.

He promised to cooperate with the council to enable a smooth achievement of its mandate. (NAN)

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