Mallam Abdusallam Mohammed (MD, NPA)
Let us all work together as partners to see to the growth of the nation’s seaports, and let us be guided by sincere desire for change. The solution is to link the ports to rail lines and develop inland water ways to move container out of the ports. NPA had made recommendation to the government before now.
However, most of the bonded terminals where unscanned containers are transferred to ease congestion had been filled to the brim. And 100 percent of the cargo moving out of the ports was transported by road.
Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Chairman, House Committee on Marine Transport)
The lawmakers are aware of the cost effect of port congestion arising from delay in the clearance of cargo at the port. And the cost is being transferred to us and to everybody.
In addition to physical inspection we would dialogue with the Nigerian Ports Authority, concessionaires, Nigeria Customs Service, shipping companies and clearing agents in order to proffer a lasting solution by coming up with interim measures and initiatives that will immediately reverse the situation at the ports.
Dayo Abdulazeez (Former Vice President, ANLCA)
The government should build more ports and by partnering with the private sector. The new ports could be located in Badagry and Lekki in Lagos State as well as expand the terminals within the existing ports,
The spaces available at the terminals could hardly accommodate the large volume of cargo presently coming into Lagos ports. We are also expecting the concessionaires to have more cargo handling equipment to avoid delays in the discharge of cargo.
Finally, the National Assembly should mandate its Committee on Marine Transport to look into the problem of illegal shipping charges by the concessionaires.
Ayodeji Fadugba (Treasurer, ANLCA)
There is need for expansion of the ports. Access to rail is also a good solution because it will beat down congestion and take goods to where the consignee wants it delivered.
Good roads could also ease the present situation, take for instance when containers are transported to the bonded terminals, while moving them some of the containers fall on the highway, thereby damaging our roads and disturbing free flow of traffic.
I can’t think of any short term solution because my container as been waiting for two months at Creaseda bonded terminals now. The 60days ultimatum given by the government may not be possible because the bonded terminals won’t release your containers to you and you can’t stem them either.
Alabi Segun (Freight Forwarder)
Space is the main cause of congestion because when you have too many containers, little man power and you don’t have sufficient space, what do you expect if not congestion..
Prior to port concessioning, NPA had given license to some bonded terminals and we expect that Terminal Operators will work hand in hand with the bonded terminals in order to move the containers to these terminals.
Most of the concessionaires do not have infrastructure, government should set a standard for them and if possible they should give them subvention and they should repay in short or long term which I think is better.
The greedy system we live in is not helping matters; government through NPA should come in and see to the issues of terminal operators monopolizing the services of bonded terminals for their own interest. Finally, more people should be employed and more cargo handling equipment should be provided and the menace will be over.
Chief Achike Molokwu (Vice Chairman ANLCA, Tin Can port)
ANLCA as team had written some suggestions which we think are possible solution to the issue of congestion. The suggestions includes: the shipping companies should book for an empty ship to come and evacuate empty containers and seek approval from Nigerian Ports Authority, shipping companies should also acquire a dry port or space outside the port for offloading; pending when the ship will arrive.
Nigerian Shippers’ Council should be more up and doing and regulate the affairs of shipping Companies; they are not doing anything and it’s giving problems.
Its so unfortunate that in Nigeria we rely on imports, government should allow more private terminal operators for them to acquire dry ports where imported containers will be moved to, because when it comes to vehicles and containers it is given to private terminals outside the ports.
Alloy Orji (Stakeholder)
On the part of the government, customs officers should be directed to be fast with their duties because they are the ones that delay the process of clearing; most especially at the CPC.
On the part of the importers, they should always send documents relating to their consignments on time. Most of them delay in giving the clearing agents money to do the processing of documents. These issues should be looked into because they are parts of the things that cause congestion in the ports.
Nnamdi Udema (Freight Forwarder)
One of the major causes of congestion in the ports is the lack of space, secondly everybody wants to make use of Lagos ports but if you go to Calabar and other ports in the country, you will find out that there is nothing like congestion there, so importers should consider making use of other ports in the country.
Also, there are bottlenecks in the clearance process on the part of the Customs officers; they should be called to order, because they are not adhering to the 48 hour clearance procedure. Often, they accuse clearing agents and importers of fake documentation, yet the ones that have original documents are not attended to.