By Bisi Akingbade
The National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Ikorodu Lighter Terminal Chapter, has urged the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to revive business at the Ikorodu Lighter terminal for quick transfer of overtime cargoes currently littering the Lagos ports.
The Chairman of the chapter, Mr. Obinna Okafor recently made this appeal at a Stakeholders’ meeting in Lagos and urged NPA to ensure quick transfer of cargoes that are over 90 days as stipulated by the law.
He noted that the Lagos ports are currently overwhelmed by overtime containers thereby making ease of doing business very difficult at the ports.
He said “We want to thank the leadership of NPA for granting us this opportunity. NAGAFF deemed it fit to commence the campaign of moving overtime cargo to Ikorodu Lighter Terminal with the support of NPA, knowing that this would benefit the government in terms of revenue drive and port decongestion.
“We know that without NPA’s support, Customs cannot move overtime cargoes. Also in our engagement with Customs, they made us to understand that they don’t have facilities to move overtime cargoes from the ports.’’
The Executive Director, Marine and Operations, Mr Sekonte Davies, said that NPA was already working to ensure that overtime cargoes were moved to the Ikorodu in order to decongest the ports.
Davies, who was represented by the General Manager, Monitoring and Regulatory Services, Ugo Esther Madubuike, said the authority was not satisfied with the movement of cargoes to Ikorodu as agency spends more than what it gets after moving the overtime cargoes
He said “The authority is already looking at how to move the overtime cargoes from the port, but I must say that it is not in the interest of NPA to move overtime cargoes to government warehouse.”
“What we want is to see that importers clear their cargoes as soon as they land in the port and not waiting for them to become overtime before moving to government warehouse.
“What the agency gets from clearing of goods at the port is more than saying we want to move overtime cargo to one government ware house, that was not the intention at the beginning, in fact we even spend more by moving this overtime cargoes to the Ikorodu Lighter terminal government ware house”.