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PSTT flags off cargo examination compliance at LPC, deploys personnel to terminals 

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Segun Oladipupo

Port Standing Task Team of the Nigeria Port Process Manual (NPPM), on Monday deployed officials to AP Moller Terminal APMT Apapa, ENL Consortium and Eko Support Services Limited at the Lagos Ports Complex to closely monitor examination of cargoes in line with the provisions of NPPM

The deployment of officials to the terminals is to ensure effective cargo examination by the agencies involved in the joint cargo examination exercise.

Speaking with journalists shortly after the exercise, the National Coordinator of the Task Team, Mr. Moses Fadipe maintained that the manual which was launched by the Vice President in December, 2020, informed formation of PSTT is to monitor and ensure compliance with the trajectory steps in the document

Fadipe said that tremendous success had been made at the vessel side, saying the team is now moving gradually to Customs examination of cargoes.

His words, “NPPM is a document with set of activities of SOP of all agencies in the maritime space and this manual was launched in December, 2020 by the Vice President in the Aso Villa  and Nigerian Shippers’ Council has been given the responsibility to lead the implementation of the document and ensure to letter all activities in this document.

“There was created what we call the Port Standing Task Team which comprises of NSC as the lead, ICPC, DSS and NPA to ensure compliance and monitoring.

“We started on a good note on the vessel side and as at today, I will say we have gotten tremendous success in the space and we are now moving gradually to Customs examination of cargoes.

“The stage we are starting  with is the joint examination which is coordinated by the Nigeria Customs Service which we are flagging off today in Apapa port, November 1.

“Every agency of government which is required to participate has been duly informed officially, the command CAC and the Customs headquarters have been duly informed

“What we are doing this morning is that we are starting with APMT,ENL and Eko Support.

“You can see that we moved around with the commandant of the NDLEA and Director of DSS in Apapa port and other relevant officials to let them know that we have set the ball rolling.

“Each place we go, the task team men are on ground for monitoring and to take note of the challenges and see where to come in to see that the assignment is fulfilled to the letter.

“It is quite unfortunate with what I saw at APMT, they don’t seem to be ready as a terminal because wherein they were duly informed, we have also called their contact person but we are shocked and surprised that at short notice, they made a detour

“At Nine O’ clock, the entrance to their terminal examination bay was not accessible, it was not opened until we started asking questions before they opened for us at 9:35am and as at that time, you can see that they were just pushing out containers and when we asked, they told us in the next one hour, everything will be okay meaning that it will take them up ti11:00 O’ clock local time clock before any meaningful activity can start.

“We have seen it, we will take it up and see what we can do.

“About the insecurity at the terminal, as elicited being responsible for late positioning, there is a Committe in charge of that, we will get across to the Committe to know the extent of work, when we were entering the terminal, there were many openings that entered which is not supposed to be, we will take it up as well

“Our representatives are now at the terminals to ensure that things are done right. We will have reviews every week and the feedback will determine our next line of action but I don’t think they should be there till eternity.

“Maximum of two to three weeks, things should be streamlined and straightened out,” he submitted.

Also speaking during the flag off exercise of  Nigerian Ports Process Manual (NPPM) monitoring of cargo examination at the Lagos Port Complex (LPC), the Deputy Comptroller at AP Moller Terminals, Apapa, DC Aliu Abubakar revealed that cargo examinations at 9am was impossible because of the alleged containers broaching by miscreants from the waterfront.

DC Abubakar maintained that officers and men of the service are ever ready to discharge their duty based on the stipulated time by the federal government but lamented that terminal operators and agents most times frustrate their efforts.

As at 9:54am, on Monday, officers of the APMT, were not seen at the examination bay, even as freight agents expressed frustration of cargo examination delay at the terminal.

On his part, Director, Apapa Port, DSS, Mr. Idris Mohammed disclosed that a  committee was set up from the office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) to carry out investigations about the incessant broaching of containers.

According to him, the process is near 80% conclusion,adding that the office of the NSA would soon take a decision about the infractions at APM Terminals.

He noted that the management of the port concessionaire has volume of questions begging for answers based on the situational report on cargo vandalisation.

© 2021, maritimemag. All rights reserved.

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