CAPTION: Barge operations
The Barge Operators Association of Nigeria (BOAN) has said that it is collaborating with the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) to ensure harmonization and standardization of its operations.
The president of BOAN, Edeme Kelikume, who said this in an exclusive interview with Shipping Position Daily in Lagos last week, admitted that some terminals are extorting and exploiting barge operators.
Kelikume explained that the group is still conducting investigations as to know how much each terminal charges, so to be able to present findings to both NPA and NSC.
He said: “On the amount payable per window, the association had a meeting last week and we will be addressing this issue, but yes indeed some terminals are extorting and exploiting barge operators. So we are working with the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC) and the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to see how there can be some level of harmonization and standards in the barging regime.
I can’t give you details of the terminals extorting the operators, we are still conducting our investigations to compile what each terminal is charging so that we are going to have a meeting with the NSC and the NPA to agree on how they can intervene”.
The BOAN boss however said that the association may likely adopt N20,000 per 20ft container being as the benchmark.
“You know it is a free market; at the end of the day you can’t compel anybody, there have to be some moral persuasions to let them know the implications of what they are doing and why everybody needs to work together to let the system work. APMT is the leading terminal in the country, so whatever APMT is charging will be like the benchmark. APMT is charging N20, 000 per 20ft container and that should be the benchmark”, he explained.
On the accusation of arresting barges by the Presidential Task Team on restoration of Law and Order in Apapa and demanding truckers to pay, he said, “On the issue of arresting of trucks and demanding truckers to pay, I have not heard that before”
“You can’t do barging without trucks, they work together you need truckers to carry the discharged cargoes” he concluded.