The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has said that shipping lines must patronise holding bays rather than dumping their empty containers in the port.
It noted that the process involved in returning empty containers were complex, saying that port users should stop blaming terminal operators over this issue.
The NPA’s General Manager, Monitoring and Regulatory Services, Eniola Williams, said in Lagos, during a tour of the ports by the Port’s Standing Task Team (PSTT), that the Authority had a policy that empty containers should not come directly to the port. According to her, “empty containers are to go to the holding bays and the holding bays are scattered everywhere.
So it would be helpful if we take this conversation beyond where we are now, which is the vision of the journey we are all travelling towards, which is that of the port that we desire.
“If we want to talk about empty containers, I would want us to give particular instances, because we have a policy on empty containers now, as they are not supposed to come in directly to the port.”
Williams said that NPA would leave no stone unturned to ensure the implementation of its concessional agreement with every stakeholder, stressing that the NPA management was looking at how the port system could be made truly functional, in line with global best practices.
Also, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Dr Magdalene Ajani, who was worried over corrupt practices in the port, expressed grave concern after a truck driver at the exit gate was caught offering money hidden in documents presented to port officials.
Ajani noted: “We just witnessed a situation where a driver had some money folded into the document he was going to be presenting to the officers at the gate, which is like the final point of exit to the port.
“The taskforce team is already engaging in it. The development is a symbolic pointer to the prevalence of corruption and the inauguration of the Ports Task Team.”
She said that the attitude of a willing bribe giver and a happy taker must be discouraged in the port.