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Your traffic law may ruin our business, AMATO tells Fashola
The law prescribed N50,000 fines for any truck impounded, having been found on the road by daytime.
The truck owners urged for immediate reversal of the law, while expressing their sadness that the law had further targeted them for increased armed robbery attacks.
The truck operators argued that the Traffic Bill signed into law by the state governor, Babatunde Raji Fasola, had also buttressed the notion that those operating fuel tankers belonged to the government circle.
“This law, as signed by Governor Fashola, will now ever more than before, place truck employees as well as their laden containers at the mercy of armed robbers who may now commence arbitrary attacks on them at night,” observed one of the truck owners, pleading for anonymity. He added that the governor’s recent success on wharf/ landing levies, at the expense of poor truck owners, had encouraged the government to seek new ways of further extortion.
“It is simply another way of extorting the truck owners,” he declared.
Speaking in similar vein, the President, Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMATO), Chief Remi Ogungbemi, said his group had already begun a concerted effort to dialogue with the government, so as to find an amicable resolution to the issue, stressing that the new law was capable of sending many of the truck owners out of business.
He agreed that the policy would not only lead to congestion in the ports, as many trucks would not be able to cope with the volume of cargo that could come into the ports on daily basis, but also increase the real risk factor inherent in the haulage business.
“Government’s intention may be genuine, but we remained convinced that the safety of the citizens should be more paramount” the AMATO boss explained, positing that the present security situation remains a factor that no one should sweep under the carpet.
He maintained that while the truck operators had a desire to engage the State government in dialogue to resolve the matter, it would not hesitate to explore other legitimate alternatives, in case they hit a brick-wall.
Echoing same view, the Vice Chairman of Joint Council of Port Trucks, Chief Eneh highlighted that the new traffic law would not be acceptable to them until it considered their own predicament if implemented as signed.
“We will do everything legitimate to ensure that the state Government refrain from implementing it in its present form” he posited, pleading that a lot of workers in trucking industry may in fact be heading for the labour market.Share