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Why NAGAFF supports proposed diversion of vessels to Eastern Ports

The National Association of
Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) has backed a proposal by the
Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to begin the diversion of vessels to the Eastern
ports, in efforts to check congestion at the Lagos ports.

President of NAGAFF, Chief Uche
Increase, made this known during a news briefing organised by the association
to discuss issues of concern in the maritime industry.

He described the initiative as
very vital at a time when the Lagos ports where battling with a myriad of challenges,
particularly the dilapidated access roads to the ports, which causes cargo
trucks to spend days on the road.

His words: “The diversion of vessels to the Eastern ports is a good initiative. What NPA is doing is not
wrong, because at present, the port access roads are not in good shape, as port
congestion is leading to hopelessness on the access roads.

“Recall that years ago, the
Federal Government took similar steps to diverting vessels to Calabar Port due
to congestion in Lagos. So, it is a good idea.

“However, there is urgent need to
make our ports competitive like what obtains in other places. In reality, it is
obvious that Lagos ports cannot be expanded anymore.

“So, we must put measures in
place to develop our port industry and operate in line with global best

Speaking on the occasion, the
NAGAFF Founder, Dr. Boniface Aniebonam, in his contribution, urged the Federal
Government, the Nigeria Customs Service and all relevant agencies concerned to
tidy up all that needs to be done in order to have the borders reopened.

He said that the government,
through the concerned authorities, should be able to ascertain the impact of
the border closure on trade thus far, and by so doing, understand the best
dynamics to manage the system.

He said “Government should review
what prompted border closure to see if such objectives have been met, in order
to re-open the borders for regional integration to thrive.”

Aniebonam also urged the members
on the need to comply with import regulations to enhance cargo clearance
processes at the ports.

In the same vein, Aniebonam added
that the collection of Practitioners Operating Fees (POF) would support
capacity building programmes beneficial to members.

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