Following increasing reports of abuses of process in the operation of barges and private jetties, the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), has clamped down on unsea-worthy barges while three illegal jetties have been sealed
The NPA in a statement said the decision followed the establishment of an inter-agency committee comprising representatives of the NPA, Nigerian Maritime Administration Agency (NIMASA), Nigerian Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) and the Lagos State Inland Waterways Authority (LASWA).
The NPA in the statement, signed by its Assistant General Manager, Corporate and Strategic Communications, Ibrahim Nasiru, said the committee is spearheading the clearing of the waterways of lay-by barges and tugboats along Ibeji/Ilashe axis and as far as the Kirikiri Lighter Terminal and Mile Two Bridge, as well as the removal of wrongly anchored barges that are obstructing visibility along the Kirikiri channel.
While soliciting for the cooperation of stakeholders at ensuring that barge operations are executed according to laid down regulations, the committee expressed its commitment to sustaining the current tempo of enforcement until operators totally comply with all laid down regulations.
“To this end, regular patrol of waterways will be carried out and sustained,” the statement assured.
In another development, the NPA announced that as part of efforts to improve access into, and service delivery at the Lagos Ports Complex and the Tin Can Island Port, it has imposed a 14-day suspension of export receipts at both ports and all satellite truck parks, with effect from Monday, March 22, 2021.
The development, it added, is necessitated by the need for consultations with export cargo stakeholders, and the Nigerian Export Promotion Council(NEPC) on the harmonisation of procedures required of owners of this category of cargo.
“Stakeholders should please note that this suspension does not affect export refrigerated cargo and trucks whose operators have secured call up tickets as at Friday March 19, 2021. All other segments of port users are enjoined to continue carrying on their businesses by using the designated truck parks and booking for access into the ports on the Eto platform.
“The Authority thanks all stakeholders for their support towards the success of Eto since its introduction three weeks ago and seeks continued support in the determination to end truck congestion on access roads into the ports and improve service delivery, “it stated.