Isaiah Okonkwo (Maritime Consultant)
Although, the managing director of APMT, Mr Hansen disclosed recently that the port is now free and the minister of transport also confirmed it, we, the port users are yet to confirm it.
What government should do to avoid such a terrible situation is give Shippers’ Council more powers to monitor the activities of shipping companies and terminal operators on daily basis and regulate their charges to be the same. If there is delay in service or there is any case of excessive charge, such offender must pay fine to the government as punishment.
Sadly, nobody is monitoring them , they do what ever they like and go on air telling lies to government and that is the major problem that is causing congestion.
No importer will invest millions of naira on importation and refuse to clear it.
Nicholas Onwumere (ENL Consortium)
The economic policy was one of the factors responsible for the menace called port congestion and it generated high demands for imports which in turn attracted more ships to Nigerian ports. Operationally, the port terminals are currently handling vessels with longer lengths and higher tonnages in terms of cargo and gross registered tonnage. Some vessels spend more days at the berth due to volume of cargo that is being discharged or due to their rate of discharge arising from the rate of efficiency and productivity of the ships’ in-built facilities.
Any delay at the terminal by a ship affects the waiting time of another vessel on arrival which all affects the turn-around- time. These are the areas which we want the government to help us to do something about if port congestion must be a thing of the past.
The rate of documentation and evaluation of discharged cargoes at the Lagos port is averagely low; all cargoes are transported by road, the government should do something to improve the port access roads to make movement in and out of the ports easier as well as avoid accidents.
Yinka Folorunsho (Clearing Agent)
Government should monitor the terminal operators and see that they have up to date equipment that are functioning and which won’t break down. They should also make sure that the terminal operators create enough space for containers by making sure the empty containers are taken away from their terminals as soon as possible.
Logistics problems faced by port users should be looked into.
Adekanbi Yusuf (Importer)
Government should know that they are the only one that can talk to the terminal operators and shipping companies.
They should monitor them closely and see that they don’t abandon empty containers in their terminals and the shipping companies should not charge excessively because the final consumers are the ones who bear the consequences and if the charges are high,
Ezeoha Nwonu (NAGAFF, Seme)
Government should try expanding the ports to make it to accommodate more cargoes than what it is now.
They should try to reduce charges, because the issue of abandoning cargoes occurs when the charges are higher than the goods being brought into the country after the importer and his agent had done their calculations of duties being paid in the process of clearing the goods. If this is done, it will help reduce the market price.
The terminal operators should come in with empty vessels takes the empty containers away from their terminal.
The government should allow the monitoring team to inspect activities at each terminal to ascertain that they have al the required equipment to discharge their duties, and in a situation where there is delay, they should be queried where and when necessary.
As for the shipping companies, they should be regulated to see that they are not overcharging importers and their agents. When all these are done, I think we will get result in no time.
K.K Olayiwola (ANLCA Head, Task Force)
The government should talk to the shipping companies by allowing NPA to monitor and regulate them because the concessionaires and the shipping companies are the cause of the problems and the brain behind the congestion menace.
They should be monitored to ensure that they comply with all rules and regulations.