June 12, 2024

The Claver Magazine

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Stakeholders In Transport, Logistics And Haulage Industry Gather In Lagos, Sue For Collaboration Among Players

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Peterclaver Egbochue

Stakeholders in the haulage, logistics, and transport industry converged on Wednesday at the Providence Hotel, Ikeja in Lagos have sued for collaboration among players in the sector to be able to resolve some of the challenges besetting the sector and to proffer workable solutions.

It was the 9th edition of the Haulmace, Haulage and Logistics Magazine Annual Conference and Exhibition organized by the publisher, Mr.Alfred Okugbeni.

The conference’s theme is, “Managing the Haulage Employer/Contractor Relationship in a Difficult Operating Environment.”

According to the convener of the conference, Mr. Okugbeni, the aim of the conference was to provide a platform for industry stakeholders to deliberate and strategize effective measures for managing the haulage employer/contractor relationship in the face of multifaceted operational challenges.

The conference was attended by haulage operators, truck dealers, tyre dealers, and general spare parts dealers including; Tyre Advance, Jiu Xing Integrity Industries Limited, XCMG U-Tech Trade Limited, TSS Motors, Brakes Batteries and Parts Limited, Alfaronnie Limited, Petrocam Energy and Gas Limited, Transinovation Motors Nigeria Limited, GPC Energy and Logistics Limited, Nigeria Sinotruck Limited and many others who exhibited their trucks and spare parts visibly.

The keynote speaker, Mr. Stephen Opayemi, who is the Managing Director, LogistixOne, Nigeria and the USA, identified some of the challenges militating against the haulage industry including poor road infrastructure, insecurity, using unfit trucks, and untrained drivers.

He called haulage service providers to figure out measures to navigate the current situation.

The keynote speaker also emphasized the need for accountability.

The panel of discussants identified reliability, integrity, preventive maintenance, service quality, and building synergy with contractors as some of the measures that should be taken by operators to be able to survive the current situation in the industry.

The panel also stressed on the need to train haulage drivers and ensure they are people of integrity.

On his part, Chief Frank Nneji, the founder of ABC Transport and Logistics Company called on the stakeholders to build a synergy to provide solutions.

Mrs. Titilayo Rotimi, the Managing Director of AOP Logistics Limited,

In an exclusive interview with The Claver Magazine, Mr. Okugbeni who is the Managing Director and Chief Executive of Nigerian Sinotrucks Limited and Intelligent Data Limited stated that being able to organize the programme took a measure of resilience from him.

 “This is the ninth edition of the programme, I cannot pretend that it was easy, pulling people together, especially in this industry is not easy but over time, people have come to trust us and that is why they are able to buy into whatever ideas we put forward to them,” he noted.

On how to actualize collaboration in the industry, the convener of the event said, “It’s something we have been working on, we have actually formed an advisory committee which is made up of key operators in the industry, they are going to be using their personal contacts to make sure that they pull everybody together. We have committed ourselves to it.

“They have said it all, there is the need for continuous communication among operators and employers because these are difficult times, the more you talk and discuss issues, the more we understand one another and the more we are able to work together.

Along that corridor of collaboration is transparency, people must be transparent in their dealings, there must be this level of trust when you are collaborating because the benefits always outweigh the risks, that is what I always tell people. “The one thing I want every operator here to take home is the fact that no one can do it alone. They need other people to work with them to be able to influence government policies and to be able to address the common issue they all face, we need one another.”

Cross section of participants at the event.

On her part, Mrs Titilayo Rotimi, the Managing Director of AOP Logistics Limited, a second-generation operator in haulage and logistics, also emphasized the need for collaboration in the sector.

In a chat with The Claver Magazine, Mrs. Rotimi who has been in the industry for 40 years said, “Collaboration is the way forward because when people are together, they achieve more than just being on your own and we believe that we are going to start in earnest to help the business and the Nigerian Government as well to make sure that road transportation business is good like it is in other countries.

“The experience has been enriching and challenging as well. A lot of people are finding it very surprising that a woman has been managing the business for over 40 years.”

She promised to use her experience to continue to improve the industry as somebody who has been there for a long time and to encourage others to find innovative ways to make road transportation better for Nigerians.

Also speaking, another discussant and a key player in the haulage and logistics industry, Mr. Tunde Makun,  stated that the time had come for a tripartite kind of collaboration between the government, the users of the assets and the transport operators because the three of them are connected but right now, there is a disconnect.

According to him, “The roads are bad, users of the asset cannot fix it because there’s so much of cost involved, so we delay their products, there are so many expenses.

“You cannot do without the training of drivers otherwise you lose that asset and the business because the moment a driver is in the driver’s seat, he is in charge of your asset and it is risky, he’s holding about N150m inclusive of the goods he is carrying, so it’s a lot of money.

“Any haulage and logistics company that does not take the training of their drivers seriously is not wise. They need to wise up. If they do not, they will lose the asset, and the product and if they contaminate the environment, they pay, if they kill anybody, they pay, there are so much of risks involved.

“We should keep this conversation ongoing because collaboration is the driver.

The highlight of the event was the presentation of awards to some major industry players including Mrs Titilayo Rotimi, Chief Frank Nneji, and others.