The Nigerian Trading Community who has any business in the nation’s seaports may have to search further as the Seaports Terminal Operators of Nigeria( STOAN), weekend distanced itself from the Loss, damage and delay of Cargoes at Nigerian seaports and terminals saying that it was not to be blame.
The Chairman of the association, Vicky Haastrup who was speaking at a Round-table discussion on Cargo exposure to risks of damage, Loss and delay at Nigerian Ports and Terminal said that inconsistent policies of Government, improper documentations, under declaration by importers are part of the reasons for the delays.
Haastrup, who is also the Managing Director of ENL Consortium revealed that improper cargo storage system and poor packaging of cargo especially from the third world countries are part of the reasons why cargoes are damaged.
Exonerating the terminal operators, the STOAN Chairman also said that most vessels coming to Nigeria to discharge cargo are old and most time at the point of discharge, the gears because they are old damaged the containers.
According to her, “under declaration is also part of the reasons why Cargoes are damaged, a situation where by an importer declare a container that weight 60tons as 50 Tons and you as a terminal operator use a 50 ton Capacity equipment to lift a container of 60 Tons, what do you expect if not cargo damage”.
On improper documentation, the STOAN boss said importers that import goods into the country last November when the Destination Inspection Operators handed over to the Nigeria Customs Service still have their cargoes in the terminal.
Her words, “importers who imported goods after Customs changed from Risk Assessment Reports (RAR) to Pre-Arrival Assessment Reports ( PAAR) still have their cargoes in the terminals and it was recently the Comptroller General of Customs gave additional two weeks for the cargoes to be Cleared.”
She also indicted agencies of Government who inspected Ships before cargoes were discharged as also causing delays.
She said, “the Immigration, Customs, Quarantine and Ports Health also contribute to delay of ships because most of the agencies are not on ground to access ships giving rooms for delays.When Customs or Quarantine is ready, Port Health or Quarantine may be no where to be found and that automatically delay the ship for some hours or probably for some days,” she said.
On his part, the Minister of Transport represented at the event by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mr. Nebolisa Emordi said it will help everybody to work together with the importers by being upright by showing good integrity by properly declaring what they are importing and do their documentation properly. He also advised terminal operators to acquire state of the art equipment that will help in efficient cargo movement and delivery.