Truck drivers in Lagos have expressed great worry over the current scarcity of sand in the state.
“The situation is now affecting us negatively”, they said. Speaking to DDH at the Berger Palaver Yard junction in July, Mr. Okon, a truck driver, said that the scarcity has made him lose some contracts he got, due to his inability to deliver as at when due.
He blamed the situation on the unavailability of sand at convenient locations, saying that there are only few stockpiles of sand left in Lagos, so either you have to go to far distances or you have to queue up endlessly to get sand here.
Also speaking on the same issue, Mr. Godwin who drives a 20-ton MAN Diesel truck, said that the recent development is of great worry to him because his daily income has been adversely affected. “I no longer meet up with the normal daily delivery; in fact, it has been giving me a serious nightmare because these days I do go home with little money in my pocket after settling the daily account with the truck owner”, he said.
DDH gathered that these truck drivers deliver as much as N20,000.00 – N30,000.00 daily depending on the type and the grade of the truck.
A certain Mr. Ovato who is presently aspiring to get his own truck, said that if one has a good MAN Diesel truck or Mack truck with double axle, one can make up to N20,000.00 to N25,000.00 per day as a truck owner depending on the agreement with truck drivers.
Some are required to deliver a stipulated amount on daily basis whereas some go on percentage basis. He lamented that the recent scarcity has been dragging their business backwards because there are many people out there who want sand but to get enough sand these days for supply is like ‘chasing white gold’.
He advised anyone who wants to get into the business of sand supplies to go for ‘MAN Diesel’ truck or Mack truck with double axle because these are strong trucks that are good for the sand business and their spare parts are almost everywhere.
As for Mr. Easy, he said he has been in the business for a long time and has acquired two trucks, maintaining that MAN Diesel is the best brand of truck for the business. According to him, MAN Diesel has four different types that are good for this business. One is MAN Diesel turbo 20-ton, double axle with ten tyres, which he said was the best because it was rugged and could traverse everywhere including off-road bushy areas. The other good types of the vehicle he called the ordinary, the auxiliary, and the non auxiliary, all with double axles. He said the first grade MAN Diesel, turbo double axle 20 ton, now goes for about six to seven million Naira (N6m-N7m) and within a period of one and half a year one could recoup his investment.
When further inquiry was made on how he manages the business, Mr. Easy said hires drivers and gets sand supplies by himself. This way, all his drivers do daily, according to him, was to go and supply sand to his clients. He said he pays them twenty percent for each trip made. He advised against settling for salary with these drivers because, he said one will only get cheated at the end of the day. On sand scarcity however, however, Mr. Easy said it had really affected him negatively but expressed hope that in a short time the issue will be over.