• Monday, June 17, 2024
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NPA refuses to license shipping firms for non-provision of holding-bays

Hadiza Bala Usman

Determined to put an end to the menace caused by littering of empty containers on Lagos roads, the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) said it refused to renew licenses of shipping companies for failure to provide empty container holding bays.

Speaking at 14th Annual Business Law e-conference held recently with the theme, ‘Business Unusual: Digital Acceleration for Growth in a New World,’ Hadiza Bala-Usman, managing director of the NPA, said NPA had sanctioned shipping companies for non-provision of empty container holding- bays.

According to her, the authority had given modality in which every shipping company are required to take out equivalent number of empty containers every month, which they bring in and non-compliance to that, would lead to sanction.

“We have actually refused to renew licenses of shipping companies due to non -provision of empty container holding bays,” she said.

She stated that to renew license of shipping companies, they have to show evidence of empty container holding bays that is commensurate to the vessels they bring into Nigerian ports.

She however assured port users the authority will leave no stone unturned to ensuring that the shipping companies adhere to what was agreed in terms of maintaining the balance between what is going in and what is going out in regards to empty containers.

Edeme Kelikume, managing director of Connect Maritime Services, blamed the congestion on lack of holding-bays for empty containers, which has had demurrage implications running into billions of naira on businesses.

According to him, available holding-bays and other infrastructure around the ports for dropping empty containers are not enough and there is need for more to be provided by shipping lines. He called on the NPA to compel shipping lines to provide more holding-bays.

On the role of tank farms in the persistent congestion in Apapa environment, Usman said the authority recognises that within the Apapa corridors there are tank farms and evacuation of petroleum products from the farms, which have attendant congestion arising from that area.