NPCC assures maritime community of improvement in port operations

The Nigerian Ports Consultative Council has assured the maritime community of its commitment to ensure improvement in port operations in the country.

The council stressed that, while the government is gradually ceding port and terminal operations in the country to foreigners, the current health status of the ports is at its lowest ebb.

The council also noted that the erosion threat ravaging the terminals as well as the total collapse of the quay apron, the sinking floor and the gradual dilapidation of the port’s status is a great concern to the maritime industry family.

The council stated this in a document titled, ‘Reflections: Contributions of the Nigerian Ports Consultative Council (NPCC) to the Nigerian port industry through its taskforce on port operations and logistics – for historical purposes’.

The National Coordinator, Policy and Practice Committee, NPCC, Ajanonwu Vincent, said that while the ports are in a state of comatose due to government’s inability to include international trade in its agenda, China and other African countries have multiple ports working in their full capacities.

He said the country, in 2014, received the highest TEUs in its international trade history, noting that from 2015 to date, the figures have dropped drastically due to bad government fiscal policies, Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) revenue generation zealousness, global economic recession and other factors.

Vincent said these factors are the causes of the moribund state of over 80 per cent of the bonded terminals, adding that unless these anti-trade barriers are removed, the labours of our heroes might be in vain.

He said the council and its number of committees will ensure the situation is addressed for an effective and efficient port industry.

Vincent reeled out contributions of the council to revitalising the maritime industry and agencies to include, including facilitating presidential approval for the seven per cent collected revenue by Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) for its officers’ welfare package, bursting syndicates that evaded Customs and other agencies’ clearance of 40 containers from Apapa port.

Other achievements include, facilitating the movement of containers to the Ijora terminal customs command, revitalisation of Ijora Terminal in 2006, handing over of the second Customs Complex in Ijora, recovering of the N875 million in Maerskline Contingent Liability Account, provision of light at TICT (Ashaye) and resolving issues around APMT And Greenview Development berthing point.

“The Nigerian Ports Consultative Council Taskforce on Port Operations and the Committee on Policy and Practice have paid working visits to almost all the shipping companies, seaport and bonded terminals and empty container holding bays in Lagos during the past eighteen months.

“NPCC as a body has remained at the forefront of maritime growth and development in the country. It has organised conferences on the establishment of deep seaports and has lived up to its roles of mediation, intervention and advisory services in the country’s port industry,” he stated.

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