By Godwin Oritse
THE Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, has warned shipping firms in Nigeria against not allowing empty containers into their holding bays, saying that such action would attract sanctions henceforth.
In a statement signed by Ibrahim Nasiru, Assistant General Manager, Corporate and Strategic Communications department of the NPA, management also warned shipping firms to ensure that the size of their respective empty container holding bay is commensurate with the volume of containers they bring into the ports, in line with NPA policy on empty containers.
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Recall that the NPA, in a bid to avert an industrial action called by the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria, MWUN, and clear the port access roads of every encumbrances, appealed to members of the union to shelve the three days planned strike to enable the agency workout an efficient cargo delivery system.
In the course of the meeting, NPA’s management assured members of the union and other stakeholders that the problem of congestion and rent seeking on access roads to the ports will soon become history with the scheduled deployment of an electronic-call up system for trucks in January 2021. NPA’s management, Vanguard Maritime Report learnt, is also working with the Lagos State Government to provide truck holding bays as part of the implementation of the e-call up system.
The statement reads in part, “In the interim, management is liaising with the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing for the immediate commencement of remedial works on failed portions of the port access road. Management is partnering with the Lagos State Government to deploy law enforcement officers for the maintenance of sanity along the Port Logistic Ring.
“Shipping companies are to be responsible for the movement of empty containers from their holding bays to the Port. Consignees are to drop empty boxes at the designated empty container holding bays. Management, therefore, calls on all stakeholders and Port users to go about their businesses as ports operations will continue unhindered.”
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