Stakeholder advocates use of bonded terminals as holding bays for empty containers


Maritime stakeholders and journalist, Pastor Ambrose Okehi has called on the federal government of Nigeria to consider using the private bonded terminals scattered all over Lagos State as holding bays for empty containers.

This is even as he further suggested that those private bonded terminals could serve as holding bays for export purposes.

Okehi who made this call in a speech he delivered at the first town hall meeting on reviving of private bonded terminal operation in Nigeria recently in Lagos also called on the concessionaires to accommodate fellow business men and women by working as partners in progress adding that the suggestions if adhered to may go a long way in addressing the perennial traffic situation along the nation’s seaports.

He recalled that some years ago, these group of investors who had invested their hard earned resources in the business had once or twice came to the rescue of the country during difficult times like the era of cement armada and that of port congestion adding that Nigeria as a nation should reciprocate the gesture.

“Within this period, they were found worthy allies, in fact, it was way back in the 80s and 90s that the federal government found this group of indigenous investors (bonded terminal operators) worthy to be managers of this aspect of business. It was on this note that they were asked to invest their resource. It was also on this agreement that they started to build terminals here and there. It was also on this basis that they were licensed to operate by the Nigeria Customs Service and the Nigerian Ports Authority. Business was moving at the beginning and things were going as planned.

“But regrettably, the situation has indeed turned sour, everything had gone wrong, things are no more the way they should be, the MOU they signed with the federal government was jettisoned almost immediately after port concession. All indications point out that the have been deliberately sidelined. All these anomalies in the port reform programme have been hitting back at the Nigerian public.

“Today, we are witnesses to the outcome of the exercise in the last seven years. Our ports today are the costliest when compared to other nations. The ports are so congested and the heavy traffic on our port access roads is telling on us even with the Executive Order of Ease of Doing Business in Nigeria.

“But we at the True Witness Communication and Media Services , the Publishers of the Emperor Newspaper, it is a new dawn , it is time to do something and we can achieve result if these vital suggestions are looked into”, he said.

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