By Chiazo Ogbolu
Lagos, Dec. 23, 2020 Dr Segun Musa, Deputy National President, Air Logistics, National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), has urged the Federal Government to engage the private sector to invest and create lorry parks.
Musa made the appeal in an interview with newsmen in Lagos on Wednesday.
He said the creation of parks became necessary due to the increase in the number of trucks along the port corridor.
According to him, the lack of parks also led to extortion of truckers and thus increased the cost of haulage.
“These men disguised as task force are taking in over N300 million every week, adding that this was fraud, and government needs to look into this.
“The creation of the truck parks will help checkmate the gridlock being faced on the ports corridor which most times is caused by some so called ‘task force’.
“A lot of evil is being perpetuated on a daily basis at the port corridor and nothing is being done about it,’’ Musa allegedly said.
He stressed the need to remove members of the task force to prevent them causing the gridlock within the port.
According to him, this makes people who are doing business to lose because they cannot gain access to the port.
“This is highly unprofessional and unethical and all these maritime government agencies, Nigerian Ports Authority, Nigerian Shippers’ Council know all about this and they are not doing anything about it.
“This has become a shameful thing and we want government to engage the private sector that are willing to create lorry park to help fight this menace.
“The association wants government to automate systems at the port as automation would immediately ensure that when terminals receive the customs release, they would send the Trade Delivery Order Code (TDOC) to agents for pickup.’’
He said that the time for the agent to take their haulage to pick shipment would be on the code and that was how a call-up operates.
“I want to believe that government will stand on the promise of the automating the port, not just automating customs processes, the whole system should be automated.
“Freight forwarders do not need to come to the port when they want to clear cargo, clearance should be done within the comfort zone of the freight forwarder.
“They should be able to capture their data from their offices or homes and should be able to make payment online and getting shipping release without going to the port.
“The one reason freight forwarders can visit the port is if they notice any discrepancy and for one to go for physical examination.
“Also, shipping companies, government should be mandated to be online, so that it will be a seamless operation in 2021,” he said.