Decline in Truckers and Falling Cargo Threatens Transportation Unemployment

Truckers in the Nigerian transport sector have expressed concern over the impending rise in unemployment in the country.
They also denounced a 50% drop in cargo entering the country, sparking more fears of unemployment in the sector.
The group also lamented a 60% reduction in transport fares, leading to job insecurity in the sector.
Disclosing this in an interview, the Chairman of the Dry Cargo Section of the Nigerian Road Transport Owners Association (NARTO), Abdullahi Inuwa, said the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic were still affecting the sector until ‘nowadays.
Inuwa, who blamed the lack of empty containers in Europe for shipping cargoes and the high exchange rate as reasons for the drop in cargoes, said that “activities in the ports are weak and there is a drop in imports.
. “The global challenge of Covid-19 has affected everything globally. You can even understand now that even in Europe there is a shortage of empty containers to transport cargo. Apart from that, you know that the high cost of the exchange rate has also affected the import, he said.
He also blamed government policies made through their agencies, such as the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), as part of what affects the importation.
The NARTO boss said that outside the federal government, the second largest employer of labor is the transport sector, noting that many people would be out of work due to the drop in cargoes.
“In the transport sector, transport is a very large chain of movement because next to the federal government in terms of employment is the transport sector.
“When you say there is a drop in imports and there is no freight, at least the import has fallen by more than 50% for the freights.
“So, as you know, it has put a lot of people out of work because that’s when there are shipments that there will be jobs.
“I can’t quantify how much we’re losing, but what I do know is that one truck feeds around 20 people, apart from the owner.
“So when there are no shipments, you can imagine the number of people who will not be able to feed themselves,” he said.
Inuwa further explained that “when they tell you that there is a drop of more than 50% in freight, you know that it will affect a lot of people. One thing that you are supposed to understand is that the State de Lagos is a center where all activities take place.
“I don’t have the stats on how many trucks are currently out of work, but based on our own assumption, it’s hard for officers to get trucks to transport their cargo.
“Now more than 50 trucks are rushing for a single delivery order at the terminal brought by an agent. This has caused truck tariffs to drop from N350,000 to N400,000 which it was before to N180,000 which it is now,” he said.

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