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

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.

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