COMTUA Losing to Vandalism from Touts on Port Access Roads

COMTUA Losing to Vandalism from Touts on Port Access Roads

Joyce Mmereole Okoli

Aside trucks been damaged, goods worth millions of naira been destroyed,  drivers  extorted and harrassed, no less than twenty persons have been brutally injured and about ten of there members were  killed this year along the port access roads.

The President, Council of Maritime Transport Unions and Associations (COMTUA), Mr Yinka Aroyewun mentioned this during  a virtual interactive session with the Maritime Reporters Association of Nigeria (MARAN).  He said that the activities of hoodlums at extortion points have led to the destruction of trucks, goods worth million of naira with human lives topping the list of losses.

Adeyinka disclosed that  several appeals has been made not only to the Lagos State Government but also to the Nigeria Police Force and the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), over the danger their behavior has caused negatively on the business of truck owners. 

"We have been crying about this and I have made a lot of submissions by writing series of reports say over 50 letters appealing to  government and other relevant agencies  to weed the vandals off the road but they are yet to be duly attended and enforced hence the continued activities of hoodlums on the port roads," he said.

“The extent of damage on our trucks cannot be estimated because as we speak they still vandalised trucks today, they would still vandalise it tomorrow because the extortion points and the points where this vandalism takes place have not been removed by government. 

"We heard it in the news and we saw it where Nigerian Ports Authority in collaboration with the Lagos State government were removing shanties claiming they are removing extortion points and hoodlums. They concluded it on Sunday and everything has returned this Monday. 

“As we speak to you everything has returned. We cannot estimate how much we have lost but we have lost tons of members to the cold hands of death this year. Twenty to thirty have been seriously injured by these hoodlums and we are still pleading with government that we get justice for these people," he said.

He also stated  that some members of the association were insured while others are not insured. He said  that  the association is working on enlightening their members on the need for insurance so as to help  cover  the effects of losses.

He also mentioned that it requires the assistance of government to tackle this challenge in the bid to create a saner environment for all stakeholders on the value chain.

"We are working on this, Some of our members are insured and some are actually not insured. We are working on educating our members on the importance of insurance. We have also written to Nigerian Insurance Association of Nigeria to partner with us to be  part of enforcement team and their pubic enlightenment team"

“However, the government still need to come to our aid by removing these hoodlums you see on the road because most of the destruction you see on our trucks are caused by vandals. They are deliberate or malicious damages impacted on our vehicles by hoodlums on the roads," he said. 
Aroyewun said that  the level of damage on the COMTUA'S trucks has been tremendous.

''As we speak, they still vandalized trucks today. They will still vandalize it tomorrow because the extortion points and points of vandalisation have not been removed by the government. 

"We have seen the Lagos State Government and the NPA were removing shanties and they claimed they were removing hoodlums and extortion points on the roads. They concluded this on Sunday and everything has returned this morning. We cannot estimate what we have lost to vandalism."

He  claimed that COMUTUA has lost  over 10 of their members who were killed this year.  However they are pleading with government to ensure that they get justice.

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