By Ahmed Rahma
The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has suspended export receipts at the Lagos Ports Complex and the Tin Can Island Port in order to improve access into the ports and enhance service delivery.
In a statement issued by the authority on Monday, it was stated that the suspension became effective from today and will last for 14 days.
“As part of efforts to improve access into, and service delivery at the Lagos Ports Complex and the Tin Can Island Port, the authority hereby announces a 14-day (two weeks) suspension of export receipts at both ports and all satellite truck parks, with effect from Monday, 22/03/21,” a part of the statement read.
“This development is necessitated by the need for consultations with export cargo stakeholders and the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) on the harmonisation of procedures required of owners of this category of cargo,” it explained.
“Stakeholders should please note that this suspension does not affect export refrigerated cargo and trucks whose operators have secured call up tickets as of Friday, March 19, 2021,” the agency stressed.
“All other segments of port users are enjoined to continue carrying on their businesses by using the designated truck parks and booking for access into the ports on the Eto platform,” it advised.
“The authority thanks all stakeholders for their support towards the success of Eto since its introduction three weeks ago and seeks continued support in the determination to end truck congestion on access roads into the ports and improve service delivery,” the statement further said.
The Managing Director of the NPA, Ms Hadiza Bala Usman, who spoke on 95.3 FM on Monday, also gave reasons for the decision.
She said, “We have a backlog of over 600 trucks that have approached the port coming out of their truck parks and are currently in that location within the port corridors, within the Lilypond. So, we are suspending all export cargoes.”
Ms Usman explained that many exporters who approach the ports without proper documentation contribute to the gridlock witnessed.
“This has been a challenge for us, the documentation, in terms of readiness of the terminal operators to receive them, some of the certifications they require from supervisory agencies based on the type of exports that they carry,” she said.
“They also have several custom certifications and CBN documents that they need to complete.
“Recognising that as a problem, we have invited the export promotion council to join us this week to meet with the large exporters to make them understand the procedures as it relates to documentation.
“If any of your documents are not ready, you must remain within your location. Actually, you shouldn’t even start your journey to the ports,” the Kaduna-born politician noted.
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