Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) said it will wield the big stick against terminal operators who default or tarry in the payment of dues meant for government coffers as it set up a committee to review port concession agreements.
Hadiza Bala Usman, the Managing Director of NPA said that prompt payment of governmental dues and royalties by port terminal operators and other relevant stakeholders would provide an enabling environment for efficient port services in view of the vital role the maritime sub sector plays in the growth of the Nigerian economy.
According to a statement signed by A. A Goje, General Manager, Corporate and Strategic Communications, the NPA boss made these remarks at a quarterly meeting between NPA management and the stakeholders in the maritime sub-sector in the Lagos area held at the Rock view Hotels, Apapa.
According to the NPA helmsman, NPA management has put in place machinery at ensuring a level playing field for operators and port users in general as it would ensure that rules guiding port operations are strictly adhered to.
Usman further used the opportunity to inform the gathering that management had set in motion a committee to liaise with representatives of terminal operators with the view to reviewing existing concession agreement as plans are in the offing to actualize this within the shortest possible time.
Furthermore, Usman frowned at the attitude of shipping companies and terminal operators who connive to litter the roads with empty containers under the guise of having a holding bay. Sanctions, she stressed, would be meted to organisations who refuse to obey rules guiding these directives after a one week window.
Earlier in her welcome address, the Port Manager Lagos Ports Complex (LPC) Hajiya Aisha Ibrahim informed the gathering that the meeting was a platform for NPA and its stakeholders to discuss the challenges facing operational efficiency.
She said efforts were in top gear to continually provide succor through palliatives on the roads leading to the ports in consonance with the Ease of Doing Business before permanent solutions are made by relevant agencies.