The Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) has embarked on a verification exercise to ascertain the functionality of container holding bays of shipping lines as recently listed by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).
At the end of the verification, the association however accused the shipping companies of refusal to use the holding bay facilities.
Speaking with Shipping Position Daily in Lagos yesterday, National Publicity Secretary of ANLCA, Mr. Joe Sanni said that at the end of the verification exercise, the association discovered that Maersk Line was the most culpable among shipping companies disobeying NPA as far as ease of doing business was concerned.
The NPA recently issued a directive that trucks laden with empty containers should not be allowed into the port, rather they should be sent to holding bays provided by shipping companies.
Sanni said that based on the findings, the ANLCA team sent out for the fact finding mission discovered that shipping companies are not being sincere, he said they are not directing their containers to holding bays designated for them.
He explained that: “All the holding bays mentioned by NPA are all functional, they have their cranes and gantries that can go as high as possible, especially Sifax terminal at Okota. So, it is the shipping companies that have decided not to comply, particularly Maersk Line, this is why others also refuse to comply”
“We had a meeting on Thursday last week where the truck owners were saying that there are no holding bays and that NPA was just trying to force them to do what is not there. So, based on this, we decided to find out who is telling lies, is it the truck owners or the NPA; this was main reason we embarked on that verification exercise”
“Based on our findings, we discovered that shipping companies are not being sincere; they are not directing their containers to holding bays designated for them. When they are ready, they are supposed to get trucks to go and take these containers and load on the ship, but right now they prefer to clog the roads and not pay anything”
“They are supposed to pay the holding bay to hold their empty containers and when they are ready to take the containers away, they are supposed to pay the truck to pick the containers to the port”
Sanni also said that ANLCA has decided to assist the NPA MD, Hadiza Bala Usman in implementing some of the executive order, particularly on government agencies that ought to be in the port and those that ought not to.
He said that the refusal of the Nigeria Customs Service to corporate with NPA on implementation of the executive order has caused other government agencies not to comply with the directive.
The ANLCA spokesman assured that immediately the NPA forward the executive order to ANLCA officially; the association would help her to implement it.
“At all our chapters, we would tell our people that once you don’t have any organization listed in the port, they should get out”