The National Council of Nigeria Licenced Customs Agents, on Monday in Lagos, called on the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to help in resolving congestion crisis currently assailing Lagos ports.
The President of the Council, Lucky Amiwero, who made the call in an interview with the NAN, said NPA should take over the management of the Lilypond Container Terminal.
He said that the Lilypond, an off-dock container terminal meant to ease congestion at the Apapa Port, had been lying fallow due to the fact that containers were not being taken there.
According to him, “the NPA needs to immediately takeover the Lilypond Container Terminal since the concessionaire signified its intention to terminate the contract due to lack of supply of containers to the terminal.
“This will help to reduce the rate of congestion, demurrage and other inconveniences experienced by importers and licenced customs agents.”
Amiwero said the congestion was also caused by shipping companies’ refusal to send containers owned by their lines to off-dock facilities.
He added that, “the current congestion being experienced in Lagos ports is also due to the refusal of shipping companies to transfer their containers to off-dock facilities.
“This results in a build up at the Lagos ports and cause delay in the positioning of containers, which take weeks for scanning, physical examination and delivery.”
He noted that such delays cause importers and licenced customs agents additional cost.
Amiwero said that for reason of industry best practice, there was a need for the presence of a regulatory agency to oversee the proper management of port operations.
“Operations at the Lagos ports need to be properly managed and coordinated in line with international best practice, by a regulatory agency.
“Such a regulatory agency will address the issues of delay in container positioning, scanning and examination as well as high storage charges by terminal operators, due to the extended time.
“It will also address issues of access to port facilities for loading and off-loading of empty containers as well as the creation of holding bays for trucks and empty containers,” he said.
Information from The Guardian was used in this report.