Take trucks off port roads, Barge operators tell FG

The Barge Operators Association of Nigeria has urged the Federal Government to limit the number of trucks that are used to transport containers from the ports because they damage the road infrastructure.

The National Public Relations Officer of BOAN, Daniel Eze, disclosed this in a telephone conversation with The PUNCH in Lagos on Tuesday.

According to Eze, having too many loads on a road reduces the lifespan of the road.

“What we are advocating is for the government to enact a law or policy that would limit the number of trucks that are being used to lift these containers because it affects the road infrastructure.

“A road that is supposed to last for say 50 years, if, for example, you put 100 trucks with each of the truck carrying half a tonne, multiply it by the 100 trucks, plying the road, the road would not last the number of years it is supposed to last because of the weight it is carrying daily and the pressure it is subjected to.”

The BOAN image maker maintained that there is a certain tonnage of cargo that should not be allowed to be transported by road.

“So, we are looking forward to the National Assembly coming up with a law just like it is done anywhere in the world. There are certain tonnage of cargoes that are not allowed to be transported by road; rather, let them use inland waterways and that is where the barge comes in,” Eze said.

He, however, blamed the high exchange rate for the about 30 per cent drop in the volume of trade in the sector.

“The dollar rate is affecting businesses. The importers would reduce the number of containers they are bringing in. Those that were doing 50 containers a week would be forced to reduce to like 10 or five containers due to the current trend. But now, generally, the economy and business are slow, but we believe they will pick up.

“For the percentage drop, I would say it is below 30 per cent. I don’t want to give a figure that can’t be substantiated. The throughput can’t be anything less than 30 per cent,” he added.

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