Overtime cargoes: FG meets stakeholders in bid to decongest ports
Federal Government has consulted stakeholders in the maritime sector, with a view to freeing the nation’s ports of overtime cargoes.
This came up during a stakeholders’ sensitisation meeting, organised by a joint task team handling overtime cargo at ports/terminals in the country.
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transportation, Dr. Magdalene Ajani, lamented that the problem was impeding operations.
Ajani, who was represented by Director (Maritime Service), Ministry of Transportation, Babatunde Sule, maintained that space at ports is premium.
She said: “The place is not for long-term storage. The business of ports requires high turnover. The ports need to be free of storage space. When they stay too long, charges are incurred.”
Sule who, later, spoke after the meeting, said: “The issue in the ports has been that of overtime cargoes. This has caused unavailability of space for incoming cargo. If there is inadequate space, it deprives NPA of needed revenue for its operation. Overtime cargo is a common thing in the ports. It makes ships take longer time before they berth.”
Managing Director of NPA, Mohammed Bello Koko, said the presidential committee set up would ensure cargoes do not overstay at ports unnecessarily.
Koko, who was represented by Onne Port Manager, Stanley Eno, said: “Space in the terminal becomes clogged. It affects movement. Before the cargo operator picks a new container, old ones have to be removed, and that means multiple handling. When Customs decides to auction the cargoes, the owner gets nothing, the terminal operators get nothing.”
Eno, during an interview session, added: “Our concern is how issues of overtime cargo can be resolved. These are common problems everywhere. We have our ports stagnated by long-staying cargoes. We are looking forward to finding a solution.
That is why the managing director declared his support to the steering committee, the Customs, and whoever has a role to play, that NPA is willing to collaborate, to give all its resources, to ensure we have good results from this exercise.”
Meanwhile, Egede, the secretary of the committee, confirmed that the team had commenced operations at eastern ports.
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