October 4, 2023

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COMTUA backs NPA’s decision to unbundle Eto

COMTUA backs NPA's decision to unbundle Eto

Truckers under the aegis of the Council of Maritime Transport Union and Association (COMTUA) have welcomed the decision by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to unbundle Eto.

NPA had recently unveiled a plan to introduce another app to serve as a competitor for the Eto system following complaints of persistent extortion along the port access roads.

Speaking at a press briefing in Lagos on Thursday, President of the association, Comrade Adeyinka Aroyewun said members across board have been yearning for this decision, which he said is bound to arrest the lingering menace of inefficiency, extortionist practices and the burgeoning lawlessness in the nation’s maritime industry.

He said it is on record that as part of COMTUA’s collective efforts to rid the maritime sector of these social tumors, the association had developed an alternative computerized application which is robust in scope and backed by a demonstrable effectiveness that is second to none in the business.

He said, “We in COMTUA are strongly in support of this initiative. As seasoned truckers with a long history of enviable performance, it is our hope that in spearheading this unbundling exercise, the apex ports management, whose core responsibility is in the complex area of cargo handling, would also place adequate priority on the need to promote and support all workable initiatives, such as the one developed by our great union.

“When this is done in a timely manner, Nigerians and all those who are doing business in the maritime industry shall begin to witness the groundswell of unsolicited commendations and merited encomiums being showered upon the NPA management for these very brilliant and impactful accomplishments.”

Aroyewun, however, lamented the frequent frictions between law-abiding members and the ‘overzealous’ LASTMA officials of Lagos State government.

He restated the pains that motorists go through in the hands of LASTMA officers whose culture of extortion he said has been rampant and now bordering on gross impunity.

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He said, “These category of road managers have become so emboldened by the blind eyes that the Lagos State government usually take, in handling all public complaints labeled against them, such that, they had become uncontrollable in the indiscretions they exercise while performing some basic official duties.

“It is a known fact that ordinary civil cases involving drivers, such as packing by the roadside to re-fix a depleted tyre always resulted in arrest, towing and detention of such vehicles and a punitive fine of not less than N100,000.

“These extortionist charges are being cruelly imposed without any consideration of the affected vehicles’ weight, size or even the distance from the scene of arrest to their head office. This type of sharp practice solely designed for self-enrichment should not be allowed to continue unabated in our dear Lagos State.”

The COMTUA President said contrary to the hordes of denials and promises by the Lagos State government, the menace of extortions and other unwholesome practices being perpetrated by some notorious state and non-state actors, are still ongoing in many parts of the nation’s busy ports.

He decried that the union’s persistent appeals and calls for prompt government intervention to arrest the drift have been treated with reckless abandon.

“The allegation of multiple taxation on the part of state actors. Wharf Landing Authority, Local government councils is condemnable.

“The cost of diesel and spare parts is on the increase. We need government intervention and support.

“We in COMTUA shall not despair and will remain more implacable in our legitimate demands for justice to be done and are resolutely determined to continue urging the government to stay the course until we achieve our just demands,” he said.



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