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‘28-day turn-around time makes us reject ships’

Friday, 04 January 2019 | 00:00

Josepdam Port Services Nigeria Limited, operators of ‘terminal A’ at the Tin-can Island port, is currently turning back ships seeking to berth at the multi-purpose terminal, its Managing Director, Simon Travers, has said.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with Vanguard Maritime Report in his office in Lagos, Travers said that the absence of critical infrastructure at the ports has affected the ship turn-around time at the terminal and has led to delay in the evacuation of consignments cleared from the facility. He stated out that the turn-around time for cargo used to be seven days but presently takes between 27 to 28 days to clear consignments from the terminal which hinders space for discharge of more ships and cargoes.

He stated: ”The local infrastructure is primarily the problem we are facing because of the turnaround time of cargo here. The turnaround time is supposed to be seven days, that is the average, but at the moment it is 27 to 28 days and this is reducing our throughput ability.

“The longer the cargo stays on the terminal the less cargo we can off load from other ships, so we are turning away ships because we do not have space. We had some ships few weeks back but we had to reject them because we have no space.

“Another reason we do not have space is because the trucks cannot get here because the road is in a bad condition and the trucks cannot get here because of the gridlock. That is the major challenge we are having as a terminal.

On the effect of government policies on the operation of the terminal, he said it does not affect them directly.

In his words, “Not really, no government policy is affecting us. There was a ban on some products coming to Nigeria from the United Kingdom, but that has not come to effect.

He also disclosed that because of inability to get foreign exchange, when a vessel comes; “they always have two bills, a dollar bill and a naira bill. So concerning the dollar bill, there are situations the importer cannot access the market to get the dollar, they have to go to the black market which makes the rate to go up to between N360 to N370 which is obviously wasting their money.

“Since it is not available from the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN because they cannot go there and get it so when they come and say can you help us by allowing us to pay in dollars or in Naira depending on our requirements for the Naira bill, then we can say yes or no.

We have our obligations from Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA; we have obligations to pay dollar or Naira bill for our lease fee.”
Source: Vanguard

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