NPA suspends trucks with export goods from accessing Lagos ports

…says over 600 backlog of export trucks trapped on port corridor

The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has suspended trucks carrying export cargoes from entering Apapa and Tin-can Island Ports in Lagos for the next two weeks.

The suspension took effect from Monday, March 22, 2021. It is to enable the ports authority clear the backlog of over 600 trucks with export cargoes trapped within the port corridor.

Speaking in Lagos on Radio Now 95.30 FM monitored by Businessday on Monday morning, Hadiza Bala Usman, managing director of the NPA, said the authority discovered some challenges with export cargo, which has resulted in congestion within the Apapa corridor despite the introduction of the Eto electronic call-up system.

“One of the things that arose in the last one week is that all export cargoes would not be allowed into the port for the next two weeks. “They are currently within the port corridor that is why we are suspending export cargoes for now.”

According to her, a lot of export cargo-carrying trucks approach the port without completing their documentation and this has been the challenge that the NPA has in terms of the readiness of terminal operators to receive the cargoes.

She noted that many of these trucks have not completed the certifications required from the supervisory agencies based on the type of export they are carrying, and this includes several Customs certifications and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) documents that they need to complete.

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“Recognising that as a problem, we have invited the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) to join us to meet with the large exporters and make them understand the procedure as it relates to documentation,” Usman said.

This means trucks carrying export cargoes remain within the truck park location until they are ready.

She, however, disclosed that the Council will join the NPA to discuss with the larger exporters and conclude on what they need to do before approaching the port, and this would be done within the two weeks.

While noting that other trucks would continue to have access into the port using the electronic callup, she said the suspension does not affect export refrigerated cargo and trucks whose operators have secured call-up tickets as of Friday, March 19, 2021.

On the issue of hacking the Eto platform, Usman described the report as incorrect but assured port users that the NPA and its private sector partners have strengthened the mechanism to ensure that people trying to sell fake call- up tickets or circumvent the system are unable to do so going forward.

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