Apparently bowing to superior arguments, the Nigerian Ports Authourity (NPA0 has withdrawn its earlier suspension order on the issuance of the all-important Ship Entry Notice to container laden vessels coming into Lagos ports until April, 2009.
The agency had about three weeks ago gave the controversial directive which it aimed at using to reroute incoming vessels away from Lagos ports to other ports within the organisation’s eastern operational flank.
But since the order was given, powerful players within the nation’s shipping sector mounted pressure on superior authourities to prevail on NPA to rescind the order.
Some of those who were opposed to the order argued that it was illegal to divert ships to ports order than their predetermined destination and that the cost of doing that will outweigh its advantages.
Already the management of NPA had in a letter to most shipping companies informed stakeholders of the lifting of the restriction.
The letter which was signed by the Managing Director, Malam Abdul Salam Mohammed which was entitled “Re: Demurrage Waiver and Deferment of issuance of Ship Entry Notice (SEN) Certificate” also stated that “the temporary restriction earlier placed on the issuance of the Ship Entry Notice certificate to container vessels calling at Lagos is hereby lifted”.
The Managing Director, NPA, Malam Abdul Salam explained that the reversal of the directive was informed by Management’s consideration of public opinion on the issue. He however reiterated his earlier call that any shipping company interested in using other ports in the Eastern Zone, should approach the organisation’s management for further discussions.
Shipping Position Weekly recalls that the NPA boss had prior to the order pleaded with shipping lines to patronise eastern ports and assured them of attractive packages.