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NSC, NPA to negotiate tariffs at ports

Monday, 06 July 2015 | 07:04
The Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) called for negotiation with the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to achieve a reduction of tariffs at ports.

The Executive Secretary of the NSC, Mr Hassan Bello, made the call in Lagos during a courtesy visit to NPA’s headquarters in Lagos.

Bello said the negotiation would involve dialogue and constant meetings with the authority to proffer solutions to tariff increase at the ports.

He commended the authority for the introduction of the e-payment and e-berthing systems which had been improving maritime services.

The executive secretary said the e-payment system was in line with international standards.
“There is capital improvement in dredging of channels which indicates that the Nigerian maritime services are moving gradually to be the hub in West Africa.

“NPA should consider multiple access roads while contracting out access roads leading to the Lekki Deep seaport, so that the constant gridlock happening in Apapa and Tin-Can ports will not persist at Lekki.
“Constant dredging of Nigerian waters has enabled bigger vessels to visit our ports,” the executive secretary said.

Bello acknowledged that Nigerian ports had been having huge traffic of cargo coming in.
He urged NPA to look into expansion of port access roads as well as roads linking various terminals and quay aprons in the terminals.

Bello said that the continuous gridlock on the ports’ access roads had affected efficiency at the ports, adding that the NSC was interested in reduction of the costs of doing business at ports.

He requested that NPA should provide offices where officials of the NSC could carry out some of their functions.

“To decongest the ports access road, we want to see 70 per cent of cargo moved through the off- dock terminals by promoting the Inland Container Depots.
“The ICD is a place where you load and discharge cargo but the only difference is that there is no water,” Bello said.

He, however, said that there was ICD in six locations- Jos, Funtua, Maiduguri, Isiala Ngua (Abia), Ibadan and Kano.

In his response, the Managing Director of NPA, Alhaji Sanusi Ado Bayero, pledged to support the NSC to ensure that the Nigerian Maritime industry flourished.
Bayero said that NPA had embarked on various technologies to improve on customers’ demands and enhance trade facilitation.

“We engage in constant dredging of our waters to attract bigger vessel into the country.
“We have been engaging our officials in all the ports to ensure that we fulfill the council’s request for offices in all ports.

“NPA is aware of the off-dock terminals. There is no way we would not work with the economy regulator,” NAN quotes Bayero as saying.
He said the authority had never made any attempt to increase the tariffs but it (NPA) did so in 2014 following complaints of terminal operators to enable them meet their targets.
Source: PM News Nigeria
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