Transport unions namely the National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW, and the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria, RTEAN, are set for a show that may disrupt port operations over sales of tickets to truck drivers at the ports. Speaking on the development, the 25th Vice Chairman of RTEAN in Lagos State, Comrade Adeola Adeyemi told Vanguard that despite the suspension of the sales of tickets by the Lagos State Government, the NURTW is selling tickets to truck drivers at the port. Adeyemi also said that it was the place of the officials of the NURTW to sell tickets to their members adding that the suspended sale of tickets are also being sold far above the official price.
He said that while the State Government has pegged the price of ticket at N800, the NURTW is selling at N2,000 per ticket. In a statement made available to Vanguard, the NURTW was said to have clearly violated the directive, as officials of the are seen to be collecting money from truckers at the Otto-Wharf Junction of the Mile 2 end of the Apapa-Oshodi Expressway. Adeyemi said that RTEAN has fully complied with the directive as its officials have since stopped the sale of tickets to truckers.
Confirming the development, the Special Assistant to the Lagos Governor on Transportation, Mr. Oluwatoyin Fayinka said that the sale of tickets by the Unions has been suspended as the government is still in consultation with stakeholders in the sector. Fayinka also said that there was a meeting with both Unions in his office last week over the sale of tickets in his office adding that at that meeting he expressly told the leadership of the Unions to suspend the sale of tickets as the government was still consulting with others.
He also said that the Police has been directed to arrest anybody that is flouting this directive He said that the essence of the ticket sale to streamline the sale of one single tickets as transporters traverse three to four local government before they get to their destination and at each local government, a ticket is sold. He stated that it is this multiple sale of ticket that the government is trying to harmonise into one single ticket that will cover the entire trip. He stated; ‘‘I did had a meeting with representatives of both RTEAN and NURTW and I told that the Lagos State Government has suspended the sale of tickets to transporters as a result of this, nobody is allowed to sell tickets on behalf of Lagos State to any motorist, including trailers, cars and buses. The essence of this ticket is that we noticed that a transporter that load his passengers at Ikorodu likely to transverse four to five Local Government and at each of these Local government areas, they are to made to pay N200 Council ticket to Ikorodu, N200, Council Ikorodi North, N200 Council ticket Ikeja, N200 Council ticket other Council tickets depending on where they go. We thought that money is too much.
‘‘So Lagos State Government now came up with a plan to have a single ticket that will be old at N800. Out of this N800, Local Government will take its own State and then the Unions will take their own. And if they are able to tell us their park, they will not pay for refuse money again, as the Lagos State Waste Management Authority, LAWMA will also be paid from this ticket money collected from transporters as the money will be paid into a consolidated account. At the major garages that are known to the law, LAWMA will come to these garages and pick up waste free of charge as they will be paid from this consolidated account. Also, the drivers at these garages will submit the name and passport photograph of drivers operating at these garages, from this same consolidated money will be taken and tax clearance will be issued to them. You know when you trying to bring good policies, some people who live on illegality will not let things like these to work but the State government is serious about making life comfortable and convenient for people.’’ He said that the ticket of N800 was not meant to be sold to trailer because we are yet to determine how much trailers will be charged. Fayinka also stated that selling the ticket far above the stipulated amount is a clear violation of the law and the Police has been put on notice to arrest anybody violating the law.