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Business News of Thursday, 1 September 2022


Inflation pushing truckers out of business – Group

Inflation Inflation

As the inflation rate bites harder, truckers have said that about half of their members are leaving the job for other businesses.

In an exclusive chat with The PUNCH in Lagos on Wednesday, former Dry Cargo Chairman of the Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners, Abdullahi Inuwa, said that the sector was riddled with a lot of challenges.

Inuwa fingered drop in cargoes, high cost of truck maintenance and diesel as reasons for the dwindling fortunes of the sector.

“From my own side, the work is not friendly because of drop in activities. This is coupled with the high cost of maintaining trucks, diesel and other activities. Some people who have, for instance, 10 trucks may be managing to maintain five now to have money for other businesses. I have to park 0my trucks for now. I am currently not doing port operations now. So, about 50 per cent truckers have parked their trucks pending when things will improve. Some are looking for other ways of survival. I started seeing this development in November 2021. You are aware that earlier this year, there was scarcity of empty containers in Europe, coupled with lack of access to forex.”

He also accused the Federal Government of focusing more on generating revenue than encouraging trade.

“Our government’s approach to tariffs, especially the Customs, is not encouraging. They don’t think of encouraging the industry because they are always increasing tariffs and targeting gaining more revenue.”

Inuwa said that the situation is worse for truckers who were not resident in Lagos because they had to pay for parking for the number of days they would stay, with little or no cargo to go back with.

Corroborating Inuwa’s submission, the Head of Operation, NARTO, Mr Stephen Okafor, said that truckers were not breaking even, noting that other sectors had increased their rates except the trucking sector.

According to him, “I know a whole lot of people have actually left the business. People are actually going out of business and if it continues like that, a whole lot of people will still leave.”

Also speaking, the President of the Council of Maritime Truck Unions and Associations, Mr Adeyinka Arowoyewun, said, “The level of importation has drastically reduced due to so many factors which have to do with the exchange rate, war in Ukraine and Russia, and the policies of government vis a vis increase in tariff. I agree that importation has reduced and a lot of truckers have actually abandoned that business.”