The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has suspended four shipping lines in order to resolve the protest by truck drivers at the Lagos Port Complex and the Tin Can Island Ports, Lagos.
The NPA hereby announces a 10-day suspension of the services of Maerskline, Osco Shipping, CAPS, and Lansal shipping companies, which commences today.
According to a statement signed by Isah Suwaid, the Assistant General Manager, Corporate and Strategic Communications Division, the suspension is due to the Authority’s checks, which revealed that the four companies have failed to comply with the directive to acquire and operate holding bays, as they have either failed to utilise their holding bays or do not have adequate capacity to handle the volume of containers that they deal with.
These companies have also been found guilty of importing a larger number of empty containers which has contributed to the persistent congestion around the Lagos Port Complex and the Tin Can Island Port, spreading to other parts of the Lagos metropolis where truck drivers with no immediate business at the ports now park their trucks.
At the expiration of this suspension, the Authority will review the level of compliance to its directives and determine further actions.
In addition to this, the NPA will henceforth embark on a regular compliance check of the operations of holding bays by shipping companies and terminal operators and defaulters will be sanctioned.
Also, stakeholders have agreed that while the call up system through the ports management as advised by shipping companies will remain in force, personnel of the Nigerian Navy will discontinue the issuance of call ups, even though they will remain on the traffic management team.
The Authority also wishes to state that the planned introduction of a new service charge called “Empty positioning fee” by shipping lines is illegal and should not be honoured by any operator.