Shippers’ Council Cautions Terminal Operators Against Arbitrary Charges
The Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) has directed the Terminal operators to stop imposing charges on containers landed at the ports during yuletide.
The Executive Secretary and Chief Executive Officer of the Council, Hassan Bello, who made this call when he led the NSC’s team of enforcement and monitoring officers on a working visit to the Terminal (APMT) in Lagos, said also urged terminal operators to embrace efficiency to address congestion at the seaports.
According to him, the operators have role to play in ensuring that the trucks coming in or leaving the ports are not causing congestion.He maintained that the delays should not be seen as opportunity to impose extra costs on containers at the detriment of the shippers.
The Stakeholder Manager, APM Terminal, Odibe Daniel, said the terminal is contributing to the Federal Government’s economy drive to improve the economy through its services, disclosing that exports which previously made up about 7% of its total cargo throughput now account for 25%.
This increase occurred between 2018 and 2019. He attributed this increase to favorable government policies.
Odibe expressed the terminal operator ‘s readiness to improve on service delivery.
The Enforcement Team from Regulatory Services Department of NSC had earlier paid a fact-finding visit to Apapa Ports quays to investigate the cause of congestion at the port terminals.
In the course of this assignment, the NSC Team discovered that the congestion is as a result of consignees not coming forward to take delivery of cargo. The team reported that APMT has boosted its terminal operations by acquiring more equipment, however, these efforts need to be complimented by the provision of motorable access roads to the ports.
Meanwhile, the NSC boss said the first phase of the Ibadan dry port will cost in excess of $100m (N35.7billion) to develop.
He said the facility, to be built by the Chinese company (CRCC) would take 18 months to build.
The facility, he said, will sit on a 90-hectare of land though only 40 hectares would be utilised in the first phase. “It is going through the process of procurement; a lot has been done. Milestones have been achieved. We want to start negotiations of the concession with the preferred bidder” he explained. ”What is their obligation, what is the obligation of the federal government, what is the obligation of Shippers council? We want to enter into talks with Oyo State government to determine how many years the lease will subsist after which it will revert to government,” he explained.