Ahead Of Kick-Off, NPA MD Says E-call Is First-Come-First-Serve

The Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala-Usman has assured that the electronic call up of trucks into Lagos ports, which starts on Saturday will be on first-come-first-serve basis.

Giving an update about the e-call up during a virtual meeting with maritime journalists  on Monday, the NPA boss said that truckers are expected to download the eto app to partake of the new arrangement.

“It would be done transparently on first come, first served. Truckers are expected to download the Eto App to sign-up. We have also requested for the operator to have a dashboard in front of port locations where movement of trucks would be displayed for truckers to see their schedule for the day,” she said.

Bala-Usman warned trucks to desist from parking along the port corridors, noting that they could not drive into the ports to receive a cargo without using the e-call up app.

The NPA boss also explained that, as part of the new arrangement, all shipping lines are expected to provide holding bays for empty containers being returned to the ports.

She vowed that, non-compliance with the policy on holding bays will henceforth be a factor in the annual revalidation of the annual license for shipping lines operating in Nigeria.

“We have made it very clear that part of the annual registration due for the shipping liners is tied to the utilization of empty containers for consignees to drop containers with them. All empty containers must be dropped at shipping companies holding bays and at that point importers and agents will access their deposits”, she said.

On port operations, she said that the nation witnessed a drop in cargo throughput in 2020.According to her, a total of 3972 vessels called at Nigerian ports in 2020, compared to 4251 vessels in 2019.

She said, “In 2019, we had a total of 4251 vessels that called into our ports, according to the ship traffic data. In 2020, we had 3972. So, we had a drop. In terms of cargo throughput, we had 78.4 million metric tonnes in 2020 while in 2019 the nation recorded 80.2 million MT in 2019.”

“We will address the challenges we have with the movement of the barges themselves, to sequence it and make sure that the harbour master is in control of the activities. We will also develop a Standard Operating procedure on barge operations.”