Transporters at the Apapa seaports in Lagos, have caleld on the Federal Government, to dissolve the Presidential Task Force (PTF), which was set up by President Buhari over a year ago, alleging that the group has extorted them.
However, the executive vice chairman of the PTF, Kayode Opeifa, said the allegations were false.
The transporters who are under the umbrella of Logistics Practitioners Association of Nigerian (LPAN), has appealed the FG, to investigate the plight of transporters and truck owners on the Tin Can Island route to the Lagos seaport. It was stated, that traffic congestion to the port was not better than it used to be.
Tunde Oyebola, Public Relations Office LPAN, said the task force was initially organised for a two-week operation, in order to clear the gridlock, which he said was extended for four weeks in 2019, due to its inability to accomplish the mandate.
He said, the tenure of the PTF has since elapsed, and that there was no further extension of their time by the FG, making their operation illegal.
Oyebola has also accused the PTF of allegedly creating road blocks which promote extortion, syaing only transports with huge sums are allowed to access the ports, without issuance of receipt for the payments.
He said, “We are not sure the money the task force collects from our members and other stakeholders, which amount to millions of Naira, is remitted to the Federal Government or the Lagos State government.
“We request that every officer on the team be investigated. We have already submitted petitions against them to the EFCC and the IGP for thorough investigation.”
“While we commend President Muhammadu Buhari on the initiative to restore order at the Lagos ports to improve the ease of doing business in the country, we are alerting the President that corruption has overtaken the purpose for which he appointed the PTF,” Oyebola said.
In another statement by PTF executive vice chairmain, Opeifa, it was noted that the allegations against the PTF are false.
According to reports, Opeifa stated that genuine truck owners had no issues passing to th eport, noting that truck pushers who owned no trucks, were the ones extorting money from real truck owners.
He explained that most transporters who did not have call-ups to the port, had illegally movd through waterways.
He also said trucks arrested for illegal parking or obstructing traffic that were towed to Transit Park only paid a token of N3,000 to the towing company and about N2,000 fine or land use charge to Lagos State government.