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Aniebonam, advises NPA boss, Usman to use her discretion to review payments in dollars

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The founder of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Dr. Boniface Aniebonam has called on the managing director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Usman, to use her discretion as provided by the Standard Operating Procedures of the agency return calm to the raging difficulties faced by terminal operators in making payments in dollars.

Industry and shipping stakeholders had continued to argue that issues of NPA charging terminal operators in US dollars has become a major source of concern to many especially now forex has remained hard to get.

Explaining some of the issues in an interview, Aniebonam said “When you look at the Standard Operating Procedures of Nigerian Ports Authority, you will see there is a caveat there that the Managing Director of (NPA) has the powers to vary certain conditions especially when matters have to do with issue of payment”.

He said considering the tight and harsh circumstances that we have found ourselves, “I expect the MD of NPA to exercise her discretion in the interest of the public, port and protecting the investors. When you look at the exchange control as at the time when terminal operators came in about 10 years ago, it was about 120/130 naira to a dollar but today is almost 500 to a dollar, how do they pay?”

“There are other issues like cargo throughput. You find out that payment is made on each cargo that comes into the country to NPA, only for the same cargo to be moved to Ikorodu terminal, as overtime cargo, outside the control of the terminal operators; yet they have made payment to NPA on it under the throughput arrangement.

“There are issues people need to discuss. Don’t forget that operators are investors who need to make returns and marginal profit on their investments. I hope the system is not pushing them to the point of frustration. I think the government should listen to them.


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