Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority NPA, Muhammed Bello-Koko
By Jerry Aguigbo
The concerted campaign by the Mohammed Bello -Koko led Management of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), towards ridding the Ports and all off dock facilities of overtime cargoes to ensure decongestion of the ports for effective and efficient operations is yielding result.
As the Permanent Secretary Federal Ministry of Transportation Dr. Magdelene Ajani led an inter-agency team comprising of the NPA, Nigerian Customs (NCS)and the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) on assessment tour of overtime cargoes littering the Ports on 23, June, 2023.
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.
This awkward situation apart from constraining terminal spaces required for seamless cargo handling operations in the ports, has contributed to deterioration of port infrastructure which are designed as transit locations as opposed to holding dead weight tonnages for years which these age long overtime cargo constitute.
Consequently, an all-stakeholder Sensitization involving Shipping Lines, and Association of Freight Forwarders and clearing agents was convened on Monday 26th June 2023, where 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.
Recall that Mohammed Bello Koko, the Managing Director NPA 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.