NPA to auction overtime cargoes to decongest ports



The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) says it has begun the evacuation of overtime cargoes to help decongest the ports.


A cargo is classified as overtime if the importer does not clear it after 90 days — all overtime cargo are subject to seizure by customs.


The NPA said the activity is done to rid the ports of congestion and pave the way for efficient port operation.


Josephine Moltok, general manager of corporate and strategic communications at the NPA, spoke on the need to evacuate overtime cargoes in a statement in Lagos.


 “The Lagos and Tincan Island Port Complexes and the terminals therein including Ikorodu Lighter Terminal have over the years been occupied with 3,200 units of overtime cars and about 3,295 units of overtime containers respectively”, Moltok said.


“This awkward situation, apart from constraining terminal spaces required for seamless cargo handling operations in the ports, has contributed to deterioration of port infrastructure.”


Moltok said the port infrastructure is designed as transit locations as opposed to holding dead weight tonnages for years, which these age-long overtime cargoes constitute.


 “Following the inspection tour which held on June 23 and June 24 respectively, an all-stakeholder sensitisation involving shipping lines, and association of freight forwarders and clearing agents was convened on June 26,” she said.


“It was unanimously agreed that all cargoes and containers that have overstayed their required time at the ports should be auctioned “in-situ” (in their current locations) and removed immediately from the ports.”


Mohammed Koko, managing director of the NPA had at several events asked the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to auction overtime containers to decongest the nation’s ports.


He said the containers occupy space and prevent other cargoes from being imported into the country.


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