The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has accused some seaport terminal operators and shipping companies of littering port roads with containers under the guise of having a Holding bay; warning that sanctions will soon be meted out to erring operators.
This is even as the agency revealed that efforts are on towards reviewing the port concession agreement signed in 2006.
Speaking over the weekend during a Quarterly meeting between NPA Management and maritime stakeholders in Lagos, the Managing Director of the NPA, Hadiza Bala Usman reiterated the commitment of her management at ensuring that outstanding payments and dues meant for government coffers by stakeholders are remitted as quickly as possible.
This she stated would provide an enabling environment for efficient Port services in view of the vital role the Maritime sub-sector plays.
According to Hadiza Bala Usman, “Management has put in place a machinery at ensuring that there is a level playing field for operators doing business in the ports, as it would ensure that rules guiding port operations are strictly adhered to.”
She further used the opportunity to inform the gathering that her management has set in motion a committee to liaise with representatives of seaport terminal operators with the view to reviewing existing concession agreement as plans are in the offing to actualize this within the shortest possible time.
Furthermore, Usman frowned at the attitude of Shipping Companies and seaport terminal operators who connive to litter the roads with empty containers under the guise of having a Holding bay. Sanctions, she stressed, would be meted to erring organisations who refuse to obey rules guiding these directives after a one week window.
Earlier in her welcome address, the Port Manager, Lagos Ports Complex [LPC], Hajiya Aisha Ibrahim, informed the gathering that the meeting was a platform for NPA and its stakeholders to discuss the challenges facing operational efficiency. Efforts she said are in top gear to continually provide succour through palliatives on the roads leading to the ports in consonance with the Ease of Doing Business before permanent solutions will be made by relevant agencies.