The truckers have stated that they lose about N3 million daily to extortionists along access roads to the Lagos and Tin Can Island ports in Lagos.
A chieftain of the Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners, who did not want his name in print, said extortionists collect about N3m daily from truckers along roads leading to the country’s major ports in Lagos.
“Extortion is ongoing. If they want to address that they should call the security agencies responsible to order because all these are happening under their watch, especially the port police. They are all over the port access roads. They are places they collect from N1,000, N2,000, and all that. There are places you also have to pay like N5,000. Let us say they are making between N2.5m to N3m daily,” he disclosed.
The Nigerian Ports Authority, in a statement on Tuesday, said there was increasing extortion along the access roads of the Lagos and Tin Can Island Port complexes.
Reacting, a trucker, Mr. Adeyinka Arowoyewun, in a telephone conversation with The PUNCH on Tuesday, said a truck spent close to N50,000 before entering the port.
“And we have at least 1,000 trucks accessing both the Apapa and Tincan Island Ports daily.
“The amount they make is inestimable. Averagely, a truck spends close to N5,000 before entering the port from around the port corridors. And we have at least 1, 000 trucks accessing both the Apapa and Tincan Island Ports daily. So, an average of N5m is extorted on that corridor daily, and they go into the hands of these extortionists,” he added.
Also, the Deputy National President of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders, Nnadi Ugochukwu, confirmed the increasing rate of extortion.
He said, “They spend money on the road and not just along the port corridors. Anywhere around Lagos, you will see extortion everywhere.”
The Secretary General of the Association of Maritime Truck Owners, Mr. Muhammad Sanni, said, “Extortion points exist along Apapa port corridor, including Tincan port corridor. Most of these checkpoints are illegally manned by uniform and non-uniform extortion bandits, forcefully collecting money from truckers under the guise of providing security or controlling traffic. We also have security checkpoints, but they are not there to do the work of security. They are there to forcefully collect money from truckers.”
He claimed the extortionists collect N15,000 per truck.
“What they charge depends on their mood. They charge even up to N15,000 per truck. And over 500 trucks are subjected to extortion daily by all these extortion bandits. At every checkpoint you see, they are collecting money from truckers. You see uniform personnel collecting money from truckers. I am not exonerating anybody because in any organisation there are bad elements,” he asserted.