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NPA bursts syndicate producing fake truck plates

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The Nigerian Ports Authority has successfully dismantled a syndicate engaged in the production and distribution of fake truck number plates.

In an official statement released on Sunday, the NPA disclosed that a total of 249 counterfeit vehicle plates and 149 Minimum Safety Standard stickers were confiscated during the crackdown.

The NPA, in its continuous efforts to address persistent traffic gridlock issues, had introduced an electronic call-up system known as ‘Eto.’ This system, managed by the Truck Transit Park Limited, aimed to organize the movement of trucks to and from the port efficiently.

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However, reports revealed that the ‘Eto’ application was exploited by illicit actors, leading to a significant increase in call-up prices and causing disruption and financial strain. Originally priced at N21,500 by TTP, the call-up fees surged to about N150,000 per call-up.

In response to the subversion of its electronic system, the NPA conducted a thorough spot check at the MPS Pregate, uncovering 249 counterfeit vehicle plate numbers and 149 MSS stickers.

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Further investigations at an undisclosed terminal revealed an additional 169 vehicle plate numbers and 133 MSS stickers not affixed to any trucks.

The NPA emphasized that the terminal manager at the location where the counterfeit items were discovered has been summoned for questioning, and the confiscated plate numbers and stickers have been secured.

The NPA affirmed that these findings substantiate its claim that there is a deliberate and well-orchestrated attempt to undermine the effectiveness of the electronic call-up system.

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The electronic call-up system, initiated by the NPA, aims to eliminate human interaction in managing port traffic, thereby addressing the persistent issue of traffic gridlock that negatively impacts the national economy.

“The NPA is, however, resolute in consolidating the e-call-up project and its other process automation initiatives to grow the maritime sector to its full potential,” the statement read in part.

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