The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), has frowned at the attitude of shipping companies and terminal operators who connive to litter the roads with empty containers under the guise of having a holding bay.
The Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority NPA, Hadiza Bala Usman, at the quarterly meeting with the stakeholders in the maritime sub-sector in the Lagos, said the agency is considering sanctioning the erring firms, adding that shipping firms must henceforth begin to make use of their holding bays to decongest the ports access roads.
Meanwhile, the Authority has begun the process of reviewing the ports concession agreement, even as it expressed determination to enforce the collection of outstanding payments and dues from the terminal operators and shipping companies operating in the country.
She said: “All shipping companies must sign up where their holding bays are and must be published. Nobody should come and destroy our ports because they want to make money. Shipping companies that fail to comply will result in sanctions and service withdrawal by next week,”
However, Usman said the agency would leave no stone unturned to ensure that its outstanding payments and dues 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.
Usman assured that machineries are being put in place to ensure 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 informed the stakeholders that management has set in motion a committee to liaise with representatives of terminal operators with a view to reviewing existing concession agreement as plans are in the offing to actualise this within the shortest possible time.
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.
She said efforst are in top gear to continually provide succor through palliatives on the roads leading to the Ports in consonance with the Ease of Doing Business before permanent solutions are made by relevant agencies.
NPA had recently declared a total revenue of N299.56 billion for the 2017 fiscal year.The 2017 revenue exceeded the previous year’s N162.20 billion by 84.65 per cent, and was the highest generated by the agency in the past five years.