Port reform triggers 200% increase in cargo inflow – NPA

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Port reform triggers 200% increase in cargo inflow – NPANigeria Port Authority, NPA has said thacargo inflow into the country has increased by 200 per cent to 900,000 Twenty-foot Equivalent Units, TEUs, from 300,000 TEUs, due to the ongoing port reform.

The Managing Director of NPA, Mohammed Bello-Koko  Koko disclosed   while speaking at a  breakfast meeting organized by   Maritime Reporters Association of Nigeria (MARAN) on the theme: Examining the Challenges   Hindering the Efficiency of e-Call   up System and Solutions.

Represented by General Manger, MD’s office, Mr. Ayo Durowaye,  Koko said that port reform was undertaken but many people did not know that there were aspects of institutional reform and infrastructural reform, some of which government is dealing with at the moment.

He said, “We have seen positive effect of the reform in terms of expanding the possibilities of the economy as we saw increased cargo inflow into the country. The time we are talking about we were doing between 300,000 to 400,000 Twenty-foot Equivalent Units, TEUs, we are moving in the era of 900,000 and one million TEUs, so where would they be, where would you be keeping all these trucks that would service the number we are dealing with?

“The system must be allowed to open up and expand, that is where you experience development.”

Meanwhile, President National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents, Lucky Amiwero, faulted the concession agreement saying there was no proper legislative framework backing the agreement

Amiwero said before the ceding of port operation to terminal operators in 2005, there was no such thing as gridlock; each port operated their holding bay, where trucks wait to load their respective consignments out of the port.

He added that the hindrances that constitute the gridlock and economic waste to the nation was lack of holding bays and trailer packs, adding that, that was the essence of the problem on Eto.

He lamented that the country operates the most expensive port in the world, maintaining that the gridlock at the port access road was a huge economic drain and a national embarrassment as a result of ceding port operations among other issues.

He said: “No proper legislative framework, the concession of the port is not a concession but a lease agreement and the port is not supposed to be concessioned more than five years but since it has been leased no control, no economic regulator. Shippers Council is just paper, if you are talking about economic regulator it must come out with the law, there is no law backing it up. We should have addressed that issue.

“20 years after the concession, we are still talking about how cargoes can move into the port, If concession was properly done with holding bays and trailer packs we would not be having those problems because what we are having is mismanagement of that private ceding of the three elements; port regulation, operations and land lords.

“The Nigerian port system is expected to serve the economy and to meet the needs of port users in a manner which is economically and environmentally sustainable, through the establishment of an appropriate operational process; efficient port procedure among others.

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