Only NPA has key to solving traffic menace in Apapa, says NAFFAC


The President General of the Nigerian Association of Air Freight Forwarders and Consolidators (NAFFAC), Prince Bakare Adeyinka has said that it is only the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) that has the key to solving the traffic menace in Apapa.

Adeyinka who made this submission in a chat with Primetime Reporters in Lagos recently said this NPA could do by mandating the vessels that called to the Nigerian ports to take empty containers out while departing the country.

He stated that “If you can bring in a loaded vessel, it will be dedicated to empty containers evacuation. In the agreement, it was agreed that shipping companies must take out empty containers proportional to the import that they brought in. If you are bringing in one thousand imports, you must take out the same number of empties out of the country but because they want to load export in Togo, Ghana and so on, they will leave those space for those ports.”

The PG observed the Nigerian government had allowed the shipping companies and the terminal operators to hold Nigerians to ransom adding that the terminal operators were now claiming that they were overstretched, even as he wondered who overstretched them.

“Empties, import or export, the Nigerian customs and the NPA has the power to take overtime cargo inside the terminals out of the port but the terminals are not ready to release the overtime cargo to the customs or to the NPA because they don’t want to lose that money in the overtime cargo, the same thing goes to the shipping companies.

“I can give you a scenario. We imported a cargo that is not up N3 million into Nigeria and because of our inability to get the end user certificate on time due to delays, the cargo was in the port for more than two months. By the time we got the end user certificate, we were having over N8 million demurrage on that cargo and we approached the shipping company for waiver, it was not granted and we were asked to wait until the cargo enters overtime and you could imagine if you have to wait for three to four months for cargo to enter overtime before we could attend to it.

“So, these are the problems a lot of shippers are having. Instead of you coming to take a cargo of N2 million with N8 million, you better leave the cargo at the port and go and do other businesses that you need to do instead of paying N8 million into the shipping company. The terminals, all the holding bays that they have outside are full. There is no holding bay outside that is empty. Then, if you have an empty container on your head that you want to drop at the holding bay, you probably need to part with some money for them in that holding bay to create space for you.

“And by the time you are returning the empty container back to the port, sometimes they will ask that empty containers of some shipping companies should not be returned to the port on a particular day thereby diverting such containers that are already at the port entrance. The same goes to export and the likes. So, the problem is even the terminal and the shipping companies, they are bringing in imports but they are not making provisions for empty containers to go out.

“So, almost all the holding bays are full and the only place you have is the port by the virtue of vessels coming in. So, they (NPA) need to mandate them to come in and look for solution on moving their empty containers out of Lagos. They have turned Lagos to a place where because nobody is charging them for dropping the empty containers in Lagos, so, the whole place is full of empty containers, the terminals, everywhere. So, when you tell them to receive empty containers, they will tell you no space because it is full of empty containers and overtime cargoes.

“But immediately these ones were attended to, I believe that traffic will disappear within the next few days”, he submitted.

Photo: NAFFAC President General, Prince Bakare Adeyinka.

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