The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has directed shipping companies to collect empty containers from their holding bays outside the port as a measure to stem the Apapa port congestion.
It is also to address the huge sums raked in by shippers due to late return of containers caused by the traffic congestion at the Lagos Ports Complex, Apapa and the Tin Can Port.
The Managing Director of NPA, Hadiza Bala Usman, who disclosed this during a zoom meeting with reporters in Lagos yesterday, said, “Management has therefore directed that going forward, all shipping firms must receive empty containers from trucks at their designated holding bays as against the current situation where trucks laden with empty containers park indiscriminately on the port access roads and adjoining street, thus disrupting free flow of traffic.
“It is not right that a segment of the industry would cash in on the traffic situation to fleece other stakeholders, which is contrary to international best practice.”
Importers are asked to deposit a mandatory N1 million to return empty containers within seven days of which a default attracts fines from the deposit.
The NPA boss further revealed that eight truck terminals have been acquired with 3,000 truck capacity for a start to create seamless access to the ports.
She added that NPA would address the allegation of high level corruption against government and security agencies managing traffic at the port access roads.
She said: “The roads can no longer be used as parking lots and only trucks assigned with cargo can access the ports. Efforts are also on to increase the number of truck parks so that more trucks would be taken off the roads.”