NPA urges terminal operators, other stakeholders on proper management of congestion at Ports

The Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala Usman (middle), the Executive Director, Marine and Operations, NPA, Dr. Sokonte H. Davies (left) and the President Seaport Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria (STOAN), Dr. Vicky Haastrup during an interactive session between the NPA Management and the Association at the Organisation’s Corporate Headquarters in Lagos on Friday. 

The Managing Director of  the Nigerian Ports Authority, Hadiza Bala Usman, has called on terminal operators, shipping companies, port managers and allied stakeholders to work towards an effective congestion management at the nation’s seaports.

She told the stakeholders that the issue of congestion should be of concern to all, and that they should look into the issue of evacuation of empty containers, increase in free days of storage, wavering of demurrage for a definite period of time, creating a window of some period to accommodate the concerns of importers.

The Managing Director was speaking while addressing the key stakeholders at a meeting at the Board room of the Authority at its Corporate Headquarters on  December 14, 2018.

She told the stakeholders that the meeting was convened in compliance with a directive from the Vice President of the Federal republic of Nigeria and Chairman, Ease of Doing Business Council, Professor Yemi Osinbajo on the need to find lasting solution to the issue of ports congestion.

She further noted that government was desirous of getting things done more smoothly, and therefore NPA would do everything possible to facilitate trade in the maritime sector, adding that the Authority would encourage shipping companies to patronize other Ports outside Lagos, particularly Onne Port.

Hadiza further informed the Terminal Operators that among the efforts NPA had made include the use of Barges to move cargoes to Ikorodu, collaborating with other stakeholders to construct access roads in Apapa, encouraged Dangote Private Jetty Project, promoted Intermodal Transportation System.

Responding to the concerns raised by some terminal operators that the Nigerian Customs Service (NC) has not auctioned any cargo at the Port in recent times, the Managing Director appealed to the Service to step up efforts at auctioning over- time cargo on time in order to discourage importers from turning the port into storage facility and that the owners of such cargo should be asked to remove them immediately.

Speaking at the meeting, the Chairman of Seaport Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria (STOAN), Mrs Vicky Haastrup of the ENL Consortium, said that the measures being taken by the Federal Government would affect their revenue negatively. Many operators present also expressed similar concerns.

But the Managing Director assured them, and noted that the situation on ground was  an emergency  and that they were subject to review after some time.

The meeting was attended by the Executive Director, Marine and Operations, Dr. Sokonte Huntis Davies and other top NPA management staff.