Barge operators lament dollar charges by NPA

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MANPOWER DEVPT: NPA to reopen training school soon, says Bello-KokoThe Barge Operators Association of Nigeria, BOAN has lamented the severe impact of dollar charges by the   Nigerian Port Authority, NPA at the port.

In the same vein,   the Nigerian Shippers Council, NSC that dollar charges are   completely inconsistent with the laws of the country.

Meanwhile, NPA said it does not charge any fee for licensing barge operators in the country.

These concerns were raised at   the inauguration of the newly elected executives of the Maritime Reporters Association of Nigeria, MARAN at a breakfast meeting in Lagos.

According to the Director of Operations, BOAN, Nura Wagani, “How can we as Nigerians be operating in Nigeria with Naira and our regulators are charging us in dollars?

We are dying gradually, to barge one empty container, it is costing us N265,000, what about the laden ones?

“The tariff regime of NPA is not doable, we need to put an end to this tariff regime because it is not sustainable. Before you operate as a barge operator, you must obtain a bond of 50 million, if you don’t have patronage you cannot survive”

Earlier, President of BOAN, Olubunmi Olumekun, said that every policy of NPA must be questioned because nothing is working, saying that there is need to declare a state of emergency on every policy of NPA because it is affecting the barge operators.

However, Executive Secretary, NSC Emmanuel Jime, said that charges in dollars are completely inconsistent with the laws of the country.

Jime who inaugurated the new executives said: “Nigeria law as I understand it does not recognize charges in dollars, wherever this is happening, that is completely inconsistent with the laws of this country. We would activate our internal processes to examine these processes frontally.

 

Reacting to the concerns, Managing Director, NPA, Ayo Durowaye, said: “Barge operations were liberalised by NPA in 2018/19 because the roads along the port corridor were choked up and it was one of the ways the authority felt we could ease pressure on the port. We licensed the barge operators without charging a fee.

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