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Extortion costs vehicle importers, others N25m monthly

Extortion costs vehicle importers, others N25m monthly %Post Title

Despite efforts by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and other agencies to sanitise the Lagos ports, extortionists continue to exploit imported vehicle owners and container truck drivers at off-dock terminals along Mile 2 in Lagos.

Investigations reveal that the illicit activities cost vehicle owners and truck drivers approximately N850,000 daily, amounting to over N25 million monthly.

The extortionists, often seen smoking Indian hemp openly while wielding sticks, gather near the exit gates of the terminal ready to ambush drivers.

They demand money, threatening to damage vehicles or remove vital parts like wipers and fuel tank covers if their demands are not met. Shockingly, these happen in the presence of security officers, who are aloof to the threat posed by the touts.

A driver, who delivers vehicles for importers, Adebola Babalola, shared his ordeal: “Most times, you see more than 20 of them coming to harass you as soon as they see it is a new or tokunbo vehicle, either coming out of PTML at Mile 2 or from Tin Can. The least you can give to one is N200. If you multiply that by 20 or 25 across a total number of vehicles that exit the port daily, you realise the money lost to them is huge. We are losing a lot of money to the jobless boys.”

A truck driver, Williams Okon, described the hazardous conditions as a nightmare, recalling a tragic incident “last week when a fellow driver died while trying to avoid the boys”.

“His container fell, crushing him to death,” he narrated. Okon urged the government to tackle this urgent issue, emphasising the danger these extortionists pose.

The General Secretary of the Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMATO), Mohammed Bala, said the situation at Mile 2 calls for immediate intervention from the authorities.

“The activities of port predators at the PTML terminal at Mile 2 is a pressing security and economic issue that demands urgent attention. The relevant authorities must take decisive action to restore order, protect lives, and safeguard economic interests at one of Nigeria’s key logistical hubs,” he said.

Bala stressed the need to address the blatant extortion, violence, and apparent negligence of law enforcement officers to ensure the safety and security of drivers.

He emphasised that tackling these immediate security concerns is crucial for maintaining trust in the port systems and supporting Nigeria’s economic stability.


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