Shipping companies, Terminal operators dare NPA over holding bay

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One month after the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala Usman gave shipping companies and Terminal operators a one week grace period to stop blocking the ports access roads with empty containers, the roads leading to the ports are still filled with trucks struggling to return empty containers to the ports, thereby compounding the traffic situation within the port town of Apapa.

The NPA MD, in early February, had frowned at the attitude of Shipping Companies and seaport terminal operators who connive to block the roads with empty containers under the guise of having a Holding bay, stating that sanctions would be meted to erring organisations who refuse to obey rules guiding these directives after a one week window.

One month after that directive, no end seems to be in sight for container littering antics of the shipping companies and port terminal operators.

A clearing agent, Donatus Abari wondered why the NPA, despite threatening to sanction errant operators after a one week grace, is yet to do anything one month after.

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According to Mr Abari, “The situation is rather pathetic. Just walk down Creek road or Wharf road, you must be a superman to drive down to Apapa for the business transaction.

The whole place is blocked with trucks carrying empty containers.

“These shipping companies claimed they have Holding bays, yet all the trucks rush back to the ports to drop empty containers, thereby creating chaotic scenes on the ports access roads. If truly the shipping companies and Terminal operators have Holden bays, why are the trucks not taking the empty containers there?

“The NPA MD said errant operators will be sanctioned after the expiration of a one week window, this is a month after, the shipping companies and Terminal operators are walking with shoulders high, is it that they are bigger than the law?”

It would be recalled that while speaking during a quarterly meeting between NPA Management and maritime stakeholders in Lagos, the Managing Director of the NPA, Hadiza Bala Usman had frowned at the continued littering of the ports access roads under the guise of having a Holding bay, stating that sanctions would be meted to erring organisations who refuse to obey rules guiding these directives after a one week window.

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