NPA gives firms one-week ultimatum on containers litter

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Anna Okon

The Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority NPA, Hadiza Usman, has frowned on the attitude of shipping companies and terminal operators who litter the road with empty containers under the guise of having a holding bay.

Speaking at a quarterly meeting between the NPA and other stakeholders in the maritime subsector, she said that sanctions would be meted out to erring organisations that failed to remove the containers after a one-week window.

Usman reiterated the commitment of the agency at ensuring that there was a level playing field for operators doing business at the ports towards ensuring that rules guiding port operations were strictly adhered to.

 She said that the agency would soon liaise with representatives of terminal operators with a view to reviewing the existing concession agreement.

According to her, there is a need also to ensure that outstanding payments and dues meant for the NPA coffers by stakeholders are remitted as quickly as possible to enable the agency to carry out its functions effectively.

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Earlier in her welcome address, the Port Manager, Lagos Ports Complex, Hajiya Aisha Ibrahim, informed the gathering that the meeting was a platform for the NPA and stakeholders to discuss major problems confronting them.

She added that there efforts to provide palliative measures to improve the conditions of the roads leading to the ports pending when permanent solutions would be found by the relevant agencies.

Meanwhile, the NPA has insisted that only eight agencies of the Federal Government are allowed to operate at the nation’s seaports.

This was disclosed in a statement signed by the General Manager, Corporate and Strategic Communications, NPA, Mr. Abdullahi Goje, on Wednesday.

The statement read in part, “The Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council has directed the NPA to ensure strict compliance with the October 26, 2011 Presidential directive on agencies permitted to operate in the port locations. The NPA hereby reiterates that only eight Federal Government agencies are allowed to operate and have physical representation at all port locations in the country.

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“The agencies allowed representation at the ports are the NPA, Nigeria Customs Service, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Nigeria Police Force; Department of State Security, Nigeria Immigration Service, Port Health Authority and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency.

“Other agencies not mentioned above should remain outside the port premises as the NCS, which is the lead agency for inspection of cargoes, has developed standard operating procedures to facilitate their seamless operation.”

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