Lagos - The Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMATO) on Wednesday asked the Lagos State Government to meet its executive members on the new traffic law, or it would withdraw its services.
Chief Remi Ogungbemi, AMATO Chairman, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that it was pertinent for government to meet with the truck owners before the implementation of the law.
Ogungbemi said that if after all their entreaties, the state government went ahead to enforce the law as it is, and the environment proved to be too harsh for their business, they would withdraw their services,
"The state government should look critically at the new traffic law to ensure that it does not cripple the operation at the ports, and thus the revenue to the nation.
"We know that the ports are the second major source of revenue for the nation and trucks are the movers of the economy. The trucks carry food items, construction materials and a host of other essentials.
"If we cripple the movement of the trucks, we are in effect crippling the economy," he said.
NAN recalled that on Aug. 2, the state government enacted a new traffic law prohibiting trucks from moving within Lagos metropolis between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m.
"We have been trying to hold a meeting with the state government but they keep on telling us that it is not yet our turn, that they are attending to people in batches.
"Our challenge with the new traffic law is that though the policy is good, the timing is wrong. Government wants to reform the transportation sector and we are in full support, but you can’t put the cart before the horse.
"You ought to have put some infrastructure in place before now.
"One of the infrastructures we are expecting is a place that would be designated as a central truck park, such that at the time of the day when the trucks are prohibited from working, the drivers can park the trucks there," Ogungbemi said.
He also said that another important issue was security.
Ogungbemi told NAN that the association was waiting for government to put the necessary machinery in place to safeguard the lives of drivers and maintain the safety of goods on board the trucks.