A maritime lawyer, Michael Imonitie Ovien has called on the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi and the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola to synergize and allow shipping companies begin utilization of the Tin Can Port Trailer park as a container holding bay.
Completion of the trailer park project which is under the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing has been stalled for several years without utilization.
Barr. Imonitie in a chat with Shipping Position Daily last week expressed concerns that presently all the container holding bays owned by shipping companies across the state are filled to the brim. He said it has also proved difficult to get the containers to the port for export out of Nigeria.
Imonitie who is also a licensed customs agent noted that terminal operators and shipping companies do not even have access to their own container and how to return the containers to the ship due to bad road network.
Speaking, he said "If you come to the Tin Can Port 2nd gate, you would see that a new bridge was built to channel-in trucks into the facility called a truck yard or holding bay, the federal government should ask the terminal operators and shipping lines to use the facility as their holding bay whereby it would be easy to access containers easily, then make sure that the shipping lines take containers from this country back to their country of origin"
He said that presently, most exporting companies in Nigeria are finding it difficult to go through the shipping lines to book for a container for export.
According to him, what the export companies do presently is to hijack the containers on the road and use them for their export because they want to beat time.
"However, at the end of the day, perishable goods are still stuck at the port, and before they get out of this country they are expired, is this the ease of doing business?
"Let the Vice President that is on charge of the ease of doing business use notable people with ideas to unravel this. The facility bus lying fallow, they should utilize the facility rather than allow containers to litter the port"
He stressed that the holding bays across Lagos are currently filled to the brim because there is no truck to access them to the port for export.
"Getting an holding bay is one thing, another thing is to move containers from holding bay to the port whereby a vessel would now take them out of the shores of this country"
"Most of the holding bays are owned on a third party arrangement and the storage is undergoing payments which shipping companies are liable to pay to the owners of the facility"