There are strong indications that truck drivers in the maritime sector may be forced to increase haulage cost over the rising cost of diesel and extortion of their members by urchins and security operatives on port roads.
The drivers alleged that the pump price of diesel is now as high as between N650 and N700 and that if allowed to continue unchecked might affect haulage cost.
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Tajudeen Kamoru, a truck driver at the Tin Can Port, said the constant rise in the cost of diesel was affecting their business.
According to him, truck owners cannot make logistics projections because of the inconsistency in the pump price of diesel.
He said, “During a trip, owners give drivers certain amounts of money to enable them buy diesel. But how can one plan ahead when each time you get to the filling station you are greeted by fresh prices. Even though diesel has been deregulated, but it does not mean price cannot be controlled.”
The president of the Council of Maritime Truck Unions and Associations (COMTUA), Com Adeyinka Aroyewun, noted that the cost of running haulage business had trippled in the last one month.
Com Aroyewun said, “We need the intervention of the government to assist our business, because even the aviation industry is clamouring and the government is engaging them on the way forward. I think we need the same kind of treatment, we need to be engaged to survive this hard times.”
Chief Remi Ogungbemi, the chairman, Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMATO), said many truck owners were enduring and working just to put bread on the table for their families.
He said the increment in the cost of moving haulage was long overdue, adding that the truck owners could be forced to increase their charges.