At MARAN Breakfast Meeting, Stakeholders Task NPA, TTP to Link Eto Call-Up Tickets with Cargo TDO’s


Right to Left; Mr Lucky Amiwero, Assistant Director of Nigerian Shippers Council, Mrs Ese Egbosimba, President of Barge Operators, Hon Olubunmi Olumekun, MARAN President, Godfrey Bivbere, Chairman of Port Consultative Council, Bolaji Sunmola, President APFFLON, Otunba Frank Ogunojemite, Publisher of MMS plus Magazine, Kingsley Anaroke, and NAGAFF's Arthur Igwilo at the breakfast meeting organised by MARAN on Eto Call-Up System in Lagos on Thursday

…Eto Call-Up Ticket Sale by NPA is Illegal–Lucky Amiwero


Port industry stakeholders who participated at breakfast meeting organised by the Maritime Reporters Association of Nigeria (MARAN) on Thursday called on the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and its technical partners; Port Transit Parks Limited (TTP) to link Terminal Delivery Order (TDO) with the Eto Call-Up ticket which is obtained by truck drivers to lift cargoes from the port.

The TDO is a final document authorising the release of consignments to a named party by the carrier.
DAILY TREND reports that the MARAN, an umbrella body of journalists covering the Nigerian maritime space had expressed concerns over the manipulations and complaints which is emanating from the NPA Eto Call-Up ticket sales.

Chairman of the breakfast meeting, Hon Olubunmi Olumekun said the Eto Call-Up has been fraught with irregularities and frustrations. To eliminate these, he said NPA and TTP should ensure that each truck coming out of truck parks are linked with a particular TDO and container number.

By so doing, he said truck drivers would no longer manipulate their movements based on “highest bidder” bidder mentality.

“We should not allow people who have nothing to do with cargo, to constantly interfere with cargo delivery. The issue of highest bidder should not affect the cargo, by the time TDO’s are tied with cargo, no one would be able to change the ticket because the container number would already be on the Eto Call-Up ticket” Olumekun stated

Olumekun who is the President of Barge Operators Association of Nigeria (BOAN) advised that in order to bring sanity to the port access road, especially under the newly created Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy, cargo movement must be done mainly by barges.

“Some particular tonnage should be taken off the roads, this would further bring about sanity on the port corridor. The government also need to go back and construct weigh bridges on the roads in order to ensure that the roads do not carry more than what they are meant to handle.

“We have told the government that, if we want to bring sanity as far as haulage is concerned in the blue economy, we must transport cargoes by barges” he said

While delivering the lead paper in line with the theme of the breakfast meeting; Repositioning Eto Call-Up System for Optimal Performance; National President of National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents (NCMDLCA) Mr Lucky Amiwero said that selling of the Eto Call-Up ticket by TTP and NPA is an illegality which must be investigated.

Amiwero, a maritime industry expert, noted that Eto Call-Up sales is not tied to any service, adding that NPA are the ones should be paying for the ETO Call-Up and not the clearing agents who is currently bearing the burden through the truckers.

Amiwero went back memory lane to how the Nigerian Ports were wrongfully concessioned by NPA, thereby leading to the port congestion currently being faced at the port.

He also argued that the Port Act of 1999 allows only the licensed agents to process documents and go into the port, hence, the documentation of the Eto Call-Up should be done by clearing agents and not transporters.

“There is no legislation to represent the lease agreement that Nigeria entered into with the terminal operators, it is a mix up of rubbish that we have done to our port system. It is one of the most expensive in the whole world”

“The economic regulations to monitor the terms of the concession and unwholesome practices of terminal operators is absent, and this gives terminal operators powers, nobody regulates, nobody controls or does anything, you cannot even go into their terminals. The concession was done just based on paper by the BPE, it was not done based on any Nigerian law, some of the agreements have expired and they are yet to look into them, I don’t know if concession is suppose to be forever.
After the concession, they are supposed give back the terminals to the government.

“The payment of holding bay fees and payment of money to enter into the port is not recognised in the terms of the lease agreement, the NPA is no longer involved in cargo operation, its responsibility as contained in section 32A, says it is to regulate traffic within the limits of the ports

“This means that NPA is to bear the responsibility which is created by them, and not to transfer such cost to the licensed customs agent or the importers.
Part of the NPA 7% surcharge is supposed to be used for this, the surcharge is for port development levy.

“The Eto Call-Up system is not for port users, it is for NPA based on their laws, they don’t have any rights to transfer that cost to port users, it is illegal, it is unconstitutional and it must be corrected.

“The Eto Call-Up is a part of port infrastructure that must be maintained by NPA, the payment by licensed customs agents is double handling. That money you are collecting, we would go to court and collect back that money because it is not backed by law.

“Transporters should not also be given anything that has to do with cargo documentation, it has to be done by the licensed customs agents, transporters have no right coming into the port without being invited by the clearing agents” he said

Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Mohammed Bello-Koko said that the Eto Call-Up system has contributed to the reduction in traffic gridlock along the port corridor.

Bello-Koko who was represented by the General Manager MD’s office, Mr Ayo Durowaiye argued that since the adoption of the Eto Call-Upsystem, it’s practical effect and successes cannot be ignored.

“For example the turn around time for trucks that used to take 15-17 days has changed to two days maximum. If you monitor the system, you will realize that at the peak of traffic gridlock, freight movement within Lagos metropolis taking a daily container was between N1million and N1.3million but with the implementation of ETO Call-Up System, the rate crashed back as low as N250,000.

“These are facts that cannot be deceitful, so we need to make a choice of whether we want to live in the past or move forward. Taking cognizance that moving forward has its own challenges and positive impact,” he stated.

On Empty Container holding bay policy, Bello-Koko said there has been a reduction in empty containers littering Nigerian Ports and streets due to a policy that was introduced by the NPA.

According to him, the NPA has made it compulsory that every shipping company operating within the ETO system must have a holding bay that can hold at least 65 percent of the number of available trucks.

“For example, any shipping company that brings in 1000 boxes into the country monthly, such shipping company must have an holding bay that can take 650 and the holding bay must be run by a Nigerian.

“With this, the remaining 35% will be moving around the country and before they come to the port, the ship that brought the 1000 must take a minimum of 850-900 empty boxes either as an export or empties outside the Country” he said

Also speaking, the Port Manager, Apapa Port Complex of NPA, Mr Charles Bamidele Okaga said that the traffic gridlock being experienced on the port access road is caused mainly by Petroleum tankers.

He urged the authorities concerned to embrace the electronic call-up system which is being operated at the port, in order to bring about the needed sanity.

Mr Okaga who is also the Chairman of Project Implementation Committee on Eto Call-Up, said “The roads leading to Apapa were built strictly for Port/Dry Cargo operations and this was when Lagos has a population of seven million and we know what the population is today.

“The road today has also been taken over by 60 percent of wet cargo operations. There is need for us to holistically look at this together as Nigerians and not from a single point.

“Tin Can Island – Mile 2 has been rehabilitated and ready for use. Our appeal to stakeholders is to prevail on the government authorities that are responsible for the regulations of these activities, let them also have Call -Up System, there will be peace once tanker issue on Tin Can Island road is resolved”

The President, Maritime Reporters Association of Nigeria (MARAN) Mr. Godfrey Bivbere in his welcome address said the Eto Call-Up system has been worsened by corruption.

He stated categorically that the system should not be seen as a source of revenue generation, addind that the Eto Call-Up system has increased cost instead of reducing cost of doing business.

According to him, “the increase in cost has a spirraling effect on the final cost of goods in the open market”

He also identified activities of Terminal Operators and government agencies especially Lagos state government as part of the problem of the E-Call up system.

Director of Operations Performance office of TTP, Mr. Adekunle Ojo said that as part of efforts to automate the the Eto Call-Up system, the company has made requisition for the introduction of E-tag which is awaiting the approval of Nigerian Ports Authority.

Ojo also accused clearing agents of being responsible for the manipulations in the Eto Call-Up system. According to him, most clearing agents make photocopy of their TDO and give different copies to truckers, all in the hope of getting the cheapest price.

This action according to him, causes some of the truckers to fake the ticket and cut corners, all in the bid to beat time and price for the clearing agents.

He said that linking TDO’s to the Eto Call-Up ticket is the only way out of the challenges being experienced in the system, but that this is a matter of policy which can only be addressed by the NPA.

Other dignitaries who spoke at the event included; Chairman of Ports Consultative Council (PCC) Bolaji Sunmola, Chief Remi Ogungbemi, Nigerian Shippers Council Executive Secretary represented by Assistant Director Monitoring and Enforcement, Mrs Ese Cynthia Egbosimba, President of APFFLON, Otunba Frank Ogunojemite among others.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.