Rising from a four-day Pan African Ports cooperation Conference (PAPC), port experts form across Africa have raised alarm that port congestion is fast becoming an African phenomenon and advise that only exchange of information and training can arrest the situation.
The experts who are mainly port administration egg heads observed that ports congestions was gradually becoming a common feature of African ports consequently canvassed a seamless cooperation and collaboration among the continents ports.
In a position which unequivocally will erase the impression that the menace of port congestion is only visible in Nigeria, they advised that shipping companies would assist if they furnish port authourities with additional information other than the ship’s manifest.
According to them, the capacity to manage a ship on arrival by a port is made more effective, if the shipping manifest could be supplemented by other vital data from the ship’s last port of call.
The conference which drew participant from across the continent as well as related organisations from across the globe deliberated on issues such as: State of Maritime Transport Sector in Africa and the Role of African Union; Privatization and Cocessioning of African Ports; and the position of the continent on the issues of Safety, Security vis-à-vis the International Ships and Ports Facility Security Code.
The experts who took “case studies” of Nigeria, Egypt, Kenya, Djibouti, Dubai and other national ports however resolved that continental ports must become pro-active in the harnessing of available materials and funds to solve identified problems, especially in the area of environments.
Calling on more attention to be put on containers already cleared out of the ports, the experts cautioned African port managements to work hard and ensure that ensuring that exiting containers which depart their ports do not ignite new congestions on their roads, before reaching destinations.
The communiqué which was issued at the end of the conference noted that port managers have key roles to play, despite the notion that they were public servants; and stressed that more problems will be solved if managements directly call government attention to vital areas, especially via rehabilitation or construction of roads through directing available funds into it, while awaiting the desired government’s expansive policies on it.