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NPA recovers 413 fake vehicle number plates from vendors in Lagos

Officials of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), at the weekend, recovered about 413 fake vehicle plate numbers at a spot in the Ijora area of…

Officials of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), at the weekend, recovered about 413 fake vehicle plate numbers at a spot in the Ijora area of Lagos allegedly used by a criminal gang for the production and distribution of fake vehicle plate numbers.

The fake number plates are allegedly sold to truck drivers to gain unhindered access into the Apapa port without due authorisation from approved government agents.

Also recovered from the spot are about 282 units of Minimum Safety Standard (MSS) stickers issued to trucker drivers before they are allowed into the port.

Though no arrest was made, a staff member of NPA who does not wish to be named said the operators of the spot fled on sighting officials of NPA who were deployed to enforce strict compliance with regulations.

NPA on February 27, 2021, introduced the electronic Call-Up system for trucks at the ports in Lagos to end the gridlock witnessed on the road. The call-up system was launched alongside an app called Eto, which truckers are expected to use to book turns to enter the port.

It was learnt that the gang specialize in selling fake vehicle number plate for truck drivers that operate in the Apapa Port.

It was further gathered that the Authority’s officials and security agents who undertook first made a mind-boggling discovery of 249 fake vehicle plate numbers and 149 units of Minimum Safety Standard (MSS) stickers on Thursday.

Head of Corporate and Strategic Communications of NPA, Mrs Josephine Moltok, who confirmed the recovery said further checks of the terminal led to a discovery of another 164 pieces of vehicle number plates and 133 pieces of MSS Stickers that are not fixed on any truck in readiness to be deployed for proxy booking.

She said the fake number plates and MSS tickets were immediately confiscated and that the terminal manager was invited for questioning.

“This development validates the Authority’s position on the existence of a deliberate and well-orchestrated effort to undermine the electronic Call Up system which was initiated by the NPA to eliminate human interface in managing traffic in and out of the Ports as a measure of sustainably taming the menace of traffic gridlock hurting the national economy.

“The Nigerian Ports Authority is however resolute in consolidating the e-call-up project and its other process automation initiatives to grow the maritime sector to its full potential” she added.

 

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