…Says NPA has no business staying at port gates after concessioning
Stakeholders in Nigeria’s maritime sector have alleged that activities of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) was major cause of traffic gridlock, cargo delivery delays and other alleged corrupt vices being experienced in ports of Lagos.
The operators accused the NPA security officials stationed at the main entrance gate into the Apapa and Tin Can port as one of the factors contributing to the traffic gridlock, as they sometimes stop trucks who refuse to give bribe entering the port.
The stakeholders specifically noted that since the NPA concessioned Nigerian ports to private operators in 2006, terminal operators are now in charge of the port security and should be allowed to maintain access into their gates.
According to the operators, NPA trying to issue access card to port users is an afterthought and a futile effort at maintaining relevance at the port.
Speaking with our correspondent, a frontline operator, Mr Wale Odu said that apart from NPA, shipping companies and terminal operators are also part of the cause and major beneficiaries of the failed cargo delivery process at the port.
Speaking with DAILY TREND, Mr. Odu said “Three people are responsible for traffic problems in Apapa; shipping companies, terminal operators, and NPA”
“The NPA no longer has any port to control, so why are they at the gate? what are they controlling?They are causing traffic and not allowing cargoes to go into the port, they are disturbing the shipping companies, terminal operators”
“The ports are getting congested, while shipping companies are charging us containers deposit” he said
Mr. Wale Odu further lamented that due to the activities of NPA, terminal operators and shipping companies at the ports, operators are incurring huge demurrages and costs. He said container deposits are being eroded because trucks cannot gain access to the the port and offload containers.
Also speaking with our correspondent on the activities of the NPA, a licensed customs agent, who identified himself as Mr Gideon, alleged that clearing agents are now being made to carry multiple identification cards around as a result of lack of coordinated access control at Nigerian ports.
DAILY TREND recent visit to the Tin Can Island Port has revealed that the NPA recently commenced ‘port fencing’ in order to restrict unwanted elements from gaining access into the port area.
But speaking with our correspondent, Gideon alleged that NPA has further made it difficult for the implementation of the International Ships and Ports Facility Code (ISPS) Code.
He said “Every agent you see at Nigerian ports today posses nothing less than 4 to 5 identity cards, this is why police always arrest some of them. As an agent, NPA wants to issue you identity card, Five Star, TICT, Port and Cargo and other terminal operators want to issue you identity cards”
“There is need for these cards to be streamlined. NPA is not doing anything at the port, they should allow terminal operators give us one identity card”
“Look at PTML for example, that is how an ideal port should be run, this is why you cannot find NPA at PTML Terminal, they have no business there” he said