Abiola Seun |
The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has threatened to seal off some terminals ooerating at the Lagos Port complex over operation of Roll On Roll off barges
The threat is coming against the backdrop of the suspension of the use of barges to move Roll On Roll Off vehicles in and out of the Lagos seaports.
In a circular to the Managing Director, ENL consortium and exclusively obtained by our correspondent, tagged, “Re: Suspension of RORO barge operations from all terminals in the Lagos Pilotage district,” the Port Manager, Lagos Port, Olufunmilayo Olotu said the directive was from the management of the authority.
She however warned that any terminal that persist in allowing RoRo barge operation at the Lagos ports will be sealed off.
The letter reads, “We are directed to convey the suspension of RORO Barge operations from all terminals in the Lagos pilotage district by Nigerian Ports Authority’s Executive Management.
This suspension takes effect from 1“ December, 2020. No Terminal Operator is allowed to receive RORO Barges in Lagos Port Complex‘
“Please note that any violation of this directive will attract stiffer sanctions, including but not limited to sealing of such erring Terminals.
“This is for your strict compliance as we assure of out esteemed regards, as always”
However, a group, Social Integrity Network, (SINET), has challenged the suspension order, urging President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently call for the immediate withdrawal of a letter which purportedly ordered the suspension of RORO Barge operations from all terminals in the Lagos District.
The Social Integrity Network, (SINET) in a statement issued on Monday by its national coordinator, Mallam Ibrahim Issa, described the action as a deliberate attempt to sabotage the current administration’s efforts in boosting the nation’s economy as well as enhancing ease-of-doing-business.
“We appeal to the leadership of the National Assembly under the leadership of Dr. Ahmad Lawan to probe the circumstances which led to the production of the letter for the author and her co-sponsors understanding the fact that the action does not reflect national interests neither does it put into consideration the sensitive state of the nation’s economy.
“We want the distinguished lawmakers to summon the author of the letter to explain the rationale behind the decision as well as her locus standi for issuing such a threatening letter without adequate consideration and consultation with relevant stakeholders and authorities without providing any alternative(s).
The SINET boss further stressed that “The only source of reduction of overburden and huge demurrage of returns on containers by importers, manufacturers and traders is continuation of the Roro Barge operations.
“Reliably, truck owners usually spend a minimum of N170,000 before their trucks can gain access into the port. With the use of Barges, importers would not spend more than N60,000 and within a maximum period of 24 hours to clear their containers as against 12 days of trucks to gain access to the port.
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