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Export cargoes barred from Lagos ports for two weeks

  Hadiza Bala Usman, managing director of Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), says export cargoes have been suspended from gaining access into th...

 


Hadiza Bala Usman, managing director of Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), says export cargoes have been suspended from gaining access into the Lagos ports for two weeks.

The NPA boss told Radio Now 95.3 FM in an interview that the suspension is effective Monday, March 22.

 

Usman explained that the move is aimed at preventing parking on port access roads as part of efforts to end the Apapa gridlock problem.

 

“All export cargoes for two weeks will not be allowed access into the port,” 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.”

 

The suspension, however, does not affect refrigerated export cargo and trucks whose operators received call-up tickets as of Friday, March 19.

 

The suspension, she said, is necessary to allow time for consultations with export cargo stakeholders and the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) on harmonising the procedures required for export.

 

Usman explained that the NPA has noticed that a lot of exporters approach the ports without completing their documentation thus contributing to the gridlock.

 

“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 authority recently launched an electronic call-up system to regulate the movement of trucks in and out of the Apapa and Tin Can Island Ports in Lagos.

 

With the call-up system, trucks are required to remain in designated truck parks and wait to be called upon before approaching the ports.