Business Hilights
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NPA goes tough on shippers, terminal operators over breaches on holding bay rules

The management of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), on Thursday, issued a stern warning to Shipping Companies and Terminal Operators, saying stiff sanctions now await erring stakeholders that fail to comply with agreements sealed with the Authority on the usage of holding bays.

Business Hilights recalls that NPA had in November, 2017 sealed truck holding bay provision agreement with Shipping Companies and Terminal Operators. The deal provides that shippers and terminal operators shall develop and operate private truck holding bays that will be accommodating trucks doing business with them as part of understanding for the effective takeoff of the newly adopted call-up system.

These were part of the resolutions adopted at the end of two meetings between the Managing Director NPA, Hadiza Bala Usman and the leadership of Truck drivers and Maritime Workers Union in response to recent protests by trucks drivers at the Lagos Port Complex (LPC) and Tin Can Island Port (TCIP).

The Managing Director had made it clear at the meeting that the Authority has launched an investigation into the level of compliance or non-compliance to the agreements reached between the Authority, Shipping Companies and Terminal Operators warning that “any company found to have contravened this agreement will be sanctioned”.

Explaining more on the newly adopted call-up system for trucks accessing the port, Hadiza Usman noted that the Authority had consulted widely with all stakeholders before the introduction of the system, adding that the system has proved to be the most effective way of managing traffic in the Apapa axis till date.

Commenting on complaints of the allegation of extortion by some security agencies, the Managing Director assured that the Authority would investigate the allegation and culprits would be made to face the appropriate provision of the law.

Both the chairman of the Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMATO), Chief Remi Ogungbemi and the President-General of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), Comrade Adeyanju Waheed while expressing their support for the call-up system now in place for the trucks, said the policy has sanitized traffic congestion on the Apapa axis.

The meeting between the NPA Management and the Union leadership was in furtherance to getting amicable solution to issues arising from the operation of the call-up system as part of the Authority’s Traffic Management Strategy, alleged extortion by security agencies and the utilisation of holding bays by shipping companies and terminal operators as defined by the prevailing understanding of November, 2017 between parties.