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Business News of Thursday, 19 January 2023


Truckers lament extortion on Lagos port roads

File photo: Apapa area of Lagos File photo: Apapa area of Lagos

Truckers under the auspices of the Council for Maritime Truck Unions and Association have lamented extortions by hooligans along Lagos port access roads.

A statement signed by the association’s National President, Adeyinka Aroyewun, claimed members of the group were made to part with at least N2,000 in over 30 different extortion points between Mile 2 to Sunrise Bus stop, along the Apapa-Oshodi Expressway in Lagos.

It noted that despite several calls and messages sent by the group to the relevant government authority, the alleged illegality has continued in broad daylight without any modicum of a check.

The group said the alleged extortionists bragged openly that nobody including the government could stop them.

“To imagine the miscreants bragging openly that nobody and no Government can stop them, that they own the government and that Yorubaland is theirs as such anyone who is unwilling to comply should leave Lagos.

“It is with deep frustration that we write to highlight and bring to your notice, the excruciating torture, daily extortion and destruction of trucks our members face in the hands of touts (sic) who position along port access roads and major highways in Lagos.”

The group further stated, “We have sent several petitions and official letters to the government (at different levels), bidding to have relevant government authorities call the miscreants to order, all to no avail as all our entreaties were not attended to.

“Truly, the body language of the government is only a confirmation of the claim of the touts (sic) that they have the backing of the government and that they work in absolute connivance. We have in all 30 extortion points between Mile 2 and Sunrise where between N2,000 and N6,000 are forcefully collected per point.”

It added that members of the association have been injured and killed by these criminals without any intervention from the authorities.

“This is totally unacceptable, especially as our members are living in very hard times due to poor return per trip and debts which is given impetus by this ugly state of affairs.”

It said that the maritime transport industry has been negatively affected by this extortion.

The COMTUA threatened that its members may be forced to react offensively.

“We have deemed it necessary to use the medium of this press release to, for the umpteenth time, call on relevant authorities to address the criminal extortion and activities of these touts (sic) against our members, knowing well that it is illegal.

“All should be reminded that no group has a monopoly on violence and aggression because we have been pushed to the wall.

“These pipes and other weapon-wielding boys on roads leading to ports and parts of the highway are daily on a rampage yet the government feels unperturbed.