Customs agents petition presidency as enforcement of trucks safety standard begins

Container Truck

Container Truck

The enforcement of safety standard by Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) for trucks entering the seaports begins today.

The initiative, designed to curtail reported increase in road accidents associated with trucks operating to and from the seaports is however generating anxiety among truck drivers and customs agents.

Already, licensed customs agents under the aegis of National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents (NCMDLCA) have forwarded a petition to the Federal Government alleging duplication in the charges imposed by NPA.

Under the arrangement, according to NPA, truck entering the seaports are to pay N10,000 each yearly for the service.

Truck drivers plying the nation’s seaports especially in Lagos State have however threatened to make the seaports inaccessible unless the N10,000 fee is dropped.

But the NPA said there was no going back in its resolve to rid the seaports of rickety and un-serviceable trucks in the interest of all stakeholders and the larger society.

Indeed, barring any last minute change of schedule, the Managing Director of NPA, Habib Abdullahi, will today flag off the enforcement of the minimum standard for trucks entering the ports in Lagos.

In a petition addressed to President Muhammadu Buhari, NCMDLCA said Vehicle Entry Permit (VEP) is “Already included in the payment by importers, licensed customs agents and transporters in the delivery charges to the terminal operators on the lease/concession agreement.”

The petition made available to The Guardian at the weekend was copied to the Minister of Finance, Minister of Transport, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC).

President of NCMDLCA, Lucky Amiwero said: “We hereby bring to the notice of the government, the duplication of Vehicle Entry Permit by Nigerian Ports Authority on trucks, which is already embodied in the delivery charges paid by the importer/licensed customs agents/ transporters on cargo operational rate in the lease agreement.”

He added: “The operational rates of the lease agreement to terminal operators include rate for cargo due and delivery charges, which include the following: The charges is paid by the consignee: The cargo dues is paid in United States dollar and Delivery Charges are paid in naira (VEP) and Tally Sheet and Tenure Parking Rate charge per truck entering into the port premise.

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