In the highlight of looming unemployment in the sector, truck drivers complained about a 50 per cent drop in cargoes coming into the country,
The group also lamented a 60 per cent reduction in haulage fares which, according to them, might also lead to insecurity in the area as most of the affected truckdrivers would always look for means of survival.
The former chairman of, the dry cargo section of the Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners, Abdullahi Inuwa, said the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic were still affecting the sector to date.
He also blamed the lack of empty containers in Europe for the shipment of cargo and the high exchange rate as reasons for the drop in cargoes.
“Activities in the port are low, and there is a drop in importation. The global challenge of COVID-19 has affected everything globally. You can even understand now that even in Europe, there is a scarcity of empty containers to carry cargo.
“Apart from that, you know that the high cost of the exchange rate has also affected importation. Also, some government policies, talking about the Nigeria Customs Service, affect importation.”
Inuwa said that apart from the federal government, the next biggest employer of labour is the transport sector, adding that a lot of people would be out of jobs due to a drop in cargoes.
“On the transport sector, transportation is a very big chain of movement because next to the federal government in terms of employment is the transportation sector.
“When you say there is a drop in importation and there is no cargo, at least the importation has dropped by more than 50 per cent for cargoes.
“So, as you know, it has thrown a whole lot of people out of jobs because it is when there are cargoes that there will be jobs.
“And you know there are so many people whose lives depend on a particular truck such as the driver, motor boy, electrician, amongst others. When there is low activity, it will affect everyone generally.”