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Port congestion: FG, NPA to clear ports of overtime cargoes, containers

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In a bid to rid the ports across the country of cargoes and containers that have overstayed their required time are to be evacuated without further delay by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).

A directive to this effect was given by the Permanent Secretary, the Federal Ministry of Transportation, Dr. Magdelene Ajani when she led an inter-agency team comprising NPA, Nigerian Customs (NCS)and the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) on assessment tour of overtime cargoes littering the ports in Lagos.

Also to further decongest the ports, all cargoes and containers that have overstayed their required time at the Ports are to be auctioned “in-situ” (In their current locations) and removed immediately.

The directive had given a boost to the sustained advocacy of the Mohammed Bello Koko- led management of NPA for the decongestion of the ports to pave way for their efficient operations.

The Lagos and Tin can Island Port Complexes and the Terminals therein including Ikorodu Lighter Terminal have over the years been occupied with 3,200 Units of overtime cars and about 3,295 units of overtime containers respectively, while the eastern ports have a combined total of 956 overtime containers.

A statement by NPA and given to Persecondnews said:”This awkward situation apart from constraining terminal spaces required for seamless cargo handling operations in the ports, has contributed to deterioration of port infrastructure.

“They are designed as transit locations as opposed to holding dead weight tonnages for years which these age long overtime cargo constitute.

“Following the inspection tour which held on Friday and Saturday 23rd and 24th June respectively, an all-stakeholder sensitization involving Shipping Lines, and Association of Freight Forwarders and clearing agents was convened on Monday 26th June 2023.

“It was unanimously agreed that all cargoes and container that have overstayed their required time at the Ports should be auctioned “in-situ” (In their current locations) and removed immediately from the ports.

“To assure transparency and inclusiveness, the modalities to govern the auction process will be finalized by all stakeholders, after a similar sensitization meeting with stakeholders in the eastern ports of Warri, Rivers, Onne and Calabar.”

Persecondnews recalls that Bello Koko had at several fora sought the cooperation of the NCS to ensure speedy removal of overtime cargo from the ports and terminal yards to free up space and preserve the durability of the capital intensive port infrastructure.

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