Clearing agents proffer solutions to tackle port congestion

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Clearing agents proffer solutions to tackle port congestion

 

Abiola Seun

The National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents (NCMDLCA) has called the attention of the Federal Government on the urgent need to utilise the empty space at kirikiri lighter port in order to reduce the present congestion in Lagos ports.

According to the President of NCMDLCA, Mr. Lucky Amiwero, most of the empty space that was converted to terminal in the Kirikiri lighter port area, were identified during the port congestion in 2001 by the Special Committee on Action Plan for Clearing Cargo BackLog, which eventually assisted in decongesting Lagos port in 2001.

ln a letter to President Muhammadu Buhari and a copy made available to newsmen, Amiwero said Kiririri Lighter Port has four empty terminals that can accommodate 15,000 loaded containers, which will ease the congestion in Lagos and shift some of the pressure from Apapa Tincan to Kirikiri port area.

“This will eliminate the possible litigation that will be generated from the international community and import trading community for diverting Lagos bound cargos to other ports, which have serious legal and financial implication in terms of the restricted diversion clause in the contract of carriage (Bill of Lading).

The following terminals; Brawl phase 1, Baco liner, Kirikiri phase 2 and Kirikiri phase 3 are empty terminals that are idle.

These terminals were used in 2001 port congestion and can still be utilized to clear the cargo backlog in Lagos Port by redeeming the country’s image and save the trading community from litigation, clearance and logistic complexities that is associated with diversion,”

He said that Brawl phase 1, Baco liner, Kirikiei phase 2 and Kirikiri phase 3 has the capacity to accommodate 2000, 4000,3000 and 2,000 containers respectively.

However, he called on the FG to declare a state of emergency in order to utilize available empty terminals in Lagos, adding that Lagos port congestion has backlog of cargo, which is held up as a result of accessing Apapa and Tincan Island Port alonside other logistics issues that constitute the long stay of cargo and ships in Lagos Port.

He said, Lagos Port congestion has backlog of cargo, which is held up as a result of accessing Apapa and Tincan Island Port and other logistic issues that constitute the long stay of cargo and ships in Lagos Port.

The state of emergency is to wave the “complexity of the lease agreement with the empty terminal owners at kirikiri Lighter Port and the cargo traffic elements on the concession agreement with concessioners.

This is to enable the faster movement of more containers from the wet Ports within Lagos by barges    to the Kirikiri Lighter Port, which will eventually prevent international and local litigation on the deviarting of cargos to other ports, which is not port of destination in contract of carriage .

He also advised the federal government to utilize part of the 7percent port development sur charge to dredge the channels leading to KLT.

“The part of  Nigerian Ports Authority(NPA) collection of 7% port Development Levy, should be utilized to create navigable channels and berthing facilities, so as to move cargos from the wet Port to the Kirikiri Lighter Port, which will help to ease the pressure from gridlock axis ,thereby  avoiding the litigation for deviating  cargos destined  for Lagos Ports to other ports.

In line of the provision of of the NPA  Act Section 32 –(a),  authorized  the authority  for the maintenance, control and management of the   channels and approach to the   to Nigerian Ports, which includes, making the channels free and navigable to vessel.”

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