NPA begins evacuation of overtime cargoes

NPA begins evacuation of overtime cargoes

Determined to pave the way for efficient operations at the port, the Nigerian Ports Authority has commenced the evaluation of overtime cargoes at the ports.

A statement by NPA said that the moves to evacuate over time cargoes at the ports were intensified when the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Dr. Magdalene Ajani, led an inter-agency team comprising the NPA, Nigerian Customs and the Nigerian Shippers’ Council on an assessment tour of overtime cargoes littering the ports.

The statement also said that over time, Lagos and Tincan Island Port complexes and the terminals, including Ikorodu Lighter Terminal, have 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.

The statement read in parts, “This awkward situation, apart from constraining terminal spaces required for seamless cargo handling operations in the ports, has contributed to the deterioration of port infrastructure, which are designed as transit locations as opposed to holding dead weight tonnages for years, which these age-long overtime cargoes constitute.”

According to the statement, the decision to auction the overtime cargoes was agreed upon by the stakeholders.

“Following the inspection tour, which was held on Friday and Saturday, June 23rd and 24th, respectively, an all-stakeholders sensitisation involving shipping lines and associations of freight forwarders and clearing agents was convened on Monday, June 26th, 2023, where it was unanimously agreed that all cargoes and containers that have overstayed their required time at the ports should be auctioned “in-situ” (In their current locations) and removed immediately from the ports.”

The statement added that to assure transparency and inclusiveness, the modalities to govern the auction process will be finalised by all stakeholders after a similar sensitisation meeting with stakeholders in the eastern ports of Warri, Rivers, Onne and Calabar.

The Managing Director of NPA, Mohammed Bello-Koko, had at several fora sought the cooperation of the NCS to ensure the 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.

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