ANLCA Queries NPA Over Delay In Fixing Tin Can Port Access Road

Three months after she promised that palliative works would commence on the dilapidated portion of the Tin Can Island Port axis of the Apapa-Oshodi expressway, the Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) has accused the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA); Ms Hadiza Bala Usman of reneging on her promise.The Tin Can Island Chapter of ANLCA led by Prince Segun Oduntan has also lamented that the bad condition of the expressway is causing its members to lose huge container deposits to shipping companies.Speaking in Lagos last week, Senior Special Assistant to the Tin Can Chairman on Media and Publicity, Akanni Balogun said that the chapter is already in constant engagement with all shipping companies under the chapter with a possibility of claiming waivers for agents on their container deposits.Balogun said that due to the bad roads leading in and out of the ports, trucks stay on queue for several days and hours before bringing back empty containers. He said that sometimes, the N150, 000 container deposits paid by the clearing agent would have depleted to N20, 000 and in most times, nothing is refunded.“The government should be held responsible because they lag behind in handling their responsibility. After the general strike action we embarked upon three months ago, the NPA Managing Director inspected the road and assured that palliative works would begin on the road, but up till now, nothing is being done”“This has created a bad image of Nigeria in the eye of foreign investors, nobody would bring billions of dollars to invest here only for the cargo to fall down outside the port and be destroyed. We are asking the government when they would take action, but nobody is answering us”On creation of holding bays for empty containers, the ANLCA media aid alleged that the NPA has been sharking in her responsibilities. He said that formerly, when a vessel discharges 200 empty containers at the port, the law says it has to carry 200 empties back. “This law is no longer being followed and that is why the country is littered with empty containers, we want all the government agencies to be alive to their responsibilities” he saidHowever, on a recent report that the association has directed its members to boycott a French Shipping Company; CMA CGM Nigeria Shipping Limited, He said that the report does not represent the true situation of things at the chapter level.“The problem is not peculiar to CMA CGM; the issue is a general problem that is also affecting Maersk Line and all other shipping companies. The major problem we have is the issue of the bad roads. We have had several meetings with CMA CGM and they told us their position, it is now left to us to inform our members”“We cannot say that importers should boycott CMA CGM because they are foreign investors and the government is spending a lot of money to woo investors into this country, if importers boycott them, they would definitely run out of Nigeria and thousands of Nigerians would lose their job. We are not running an association that would run people out of business; rather we are going to dialogue with relevant stakeholders and move the business further”, he stressed.