Abdullahi Inuwa, a former Dry Cargo chairman of the Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) said in an interview that, approximately half of their members are abandoning their jobs to work for other companies as the inflation rate intensifies.
He added that the industry faced numerous difficulties and the decline in cargoes, high cost of vehicle maintenance, and diesel as causes for the sector’s declining fortunes.
“From my own side, the work is not friendly because of a drop in activities. This is coupled with the high cost of maintaining trucks, diesel and other activities. Some people who have, for instance, 10 trucks may be managing to maintain five now to have money for other businesses. I have to park 0my trucks for now. I am currently not doing port operations now. So, about 50 per cent of truckers have parked their trucks pending when things will improve. Some are looking for other ways of survival. I started seeing this development in November 2021. You are aware that earlier this year, there was a scarcity of empty containers in Europe, coupled with lack of access to forex.”
He further asserted that the Federal Government prioritises generating revenue over promoting trade.
According to Inuwa, the situation is worse for truckers who aren’t locals in Lagos because they have to pay for parking for the number of days they plan to be there even though they have little to no cargo to bring with them when they leave.
The Head of Operation of NARTO, Mr Stephen Okafor, echoed Inuwa’s assertion that truckers were not making a profit, stating that all other industries had increased their rates to save the trucking industry.
According to him, “I know a whole lot of people have actually left the business. People are actually going out of business and if it continues like that, a whole lot of people will still leave.”