Following a clamp down directed by the Lagos state governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, this week, heavy-duty truck drivers operating in Lagos have withdrawn their services from the seaports beginning from Thursday, in protest over restriction placed on their movements by the government.
Lagos State Government had announced the restriction of truck movement within the metropolis to between 9pm – 6am, in the aftermath of the accident involving a container which fell off a truck and landed on a nearby car at Ojuelegba area of the state, killing three persons.
Truck drivers under the aegis of the Association of Maritime Truck Owners and National Association of Road Truck Owners said that they would withdraw their trucks from the road with immediate effect over the restriction directive.
Chairman of AMATO, Chief Remi Ogungbemi, said it was difficult for members to comply with the state’s directive on the restriction due to security reasons.
“The state’s policy restricting trucks movement to the night would be hard to comply with because the safety of our trucks, drivers and the cargoes cannot be guaranteed. Hijackers are hijacking trucks with goods till date. So, if we move at night, hijacking will become more rampant,” said Ogungbemi.
He also added that the warehouses and factories where the cargoes are discharged by the truck drivers do not operate at night, stressing that ‘the government was yet to designate a place to serve as a park for truck drivers.
“There is no designated truck park where we can stay until we can be allowed to move. All these infrastructures have to be put in place before they can start implementing such a policy. As it is, the current situation will have a negative effect on the economy of the nation.”
Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Transportation, Mr. Oluseyi Whenu, had last Sunday announced new traffic laws with a vow to fully enforce them.
“The state government will henceforth go tough on any trailer and long vehicle that contravened the law as such vehicle will be impounded and made to pay the stipulated fine accordingly.”