Tanker owners oppose NPA, TTP e-call-up system integration
…Container, but trucks are still stuck along Tin Can Island port road
By Ebenezer Willam
The Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) have rejected the plan of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and the Trucks Transit Parks Limited (TTP) to integrate petroleum tankers in the electronic call-up system and the charges that come with the platform as part of moves to rid the ports access roads of gridlock.
The National President, of NARTO, Yusuf Othman, who spoke to newsmen regarding the indiscriminate parking of petroleum tanker trucks on the port access roads, said the petroleum tanker owners were already operating at a loss and would not take on any additional cost as charges for being integrated in the electronic call-up system.
The Managing Director of TTP, the firm handling electronic call-ups on behalf of the NPA, Jama Onwubuariri, had last year told journalists that discussions were on to integrate the petroleum tankers into the Eto call-up system to enable sanity at the port access roads.
He said the company, NPA, the petroleum companies and tanker drivers’ associations were discussing to see how the owners of the trucks can come onboard the Eto app, especially as they are always coming to the port to get petroleum products from the tank farms.
However, the parties are yet to conclude the issue to ensure sanity on the port access roads. This is just as the many tank farms around the Tin Can Island Port corridor are without dedicated holding bays, which has made petroleum tankers clog the roads waiting for their turn to load liquid cargo.
These tankers are seen lined along the Apapa-Oshodi expressway from Tin Can to Kirikiri down to Mile 2 and now towards Cele Bus stop waiting to access the tank farms as their activities cripple vehicular movement for other road users on the highway leading to the ports.
The NARTO boss explained that the tanker owners would welcome any form of solution to address the chaos at the port corridors but refuse the aspect of payment of charges in integrating them into the Eto system.
For container trucks using the electronic call-up system, truckers buy the ETO tickets and other associated charges making it a total of N21,500 per truck.
Othman said petroleum tanker owners do not have the financial capacity to take out money to sort or pay, explaining that a tokunbo tanker truck costs N50 million, while the cost of operations is expensive leaving the owners with little or no gain.
He explained: “I buy a truck for N50 million, if you load from Lagos from Abuja, what you are going to pay is N30 per litre. If your truck is loading 40,000 litres you will pay N30 multiplied by 40,000 which is N1.2 million. This is what they pay us for haulage. You spend the money on operations. You buy diesel interchangeably, already it is about N1 million from that N1.2 million. You pay loading fees of N40,000 and give the driver allowance of N20,000, already N1,000,060 is gone, how much is your balance for a vehicle of N50 million?
“Any small damage on the vehicle, like the tyres when they burst we encounter loss, which sometimes leads to accidents. So where is the money to give any company for rental fees?”
He said while the petroleum tankers want sanity at the port access roads, the integration to the electronic call-up system comes at a cost, noting that the owners do not have provision for any additional cost in operations.
“Just because they want to go and load petroleum products for a particular company, they take a certain amount and give some rent seekers. TTPs are rent-seekers, if I am going to load for any of the oil companies, I am expected to dash in and out on the same day and time. Why do we have to give money to rent seekers to go into to load products?”