NSC urges stakeholders to back FG plans in facilitating prompt movement of cargoes at ports

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By Oluyinka Onigbinde

The Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) has urged all stakeholders within the shipping and maritime industry of the economy to support the ongoing efforts of the Federal Government to connect the nation’s seaport with rail as this will help to facilitate prompt movement of cargoes through our ports to the hinterland.

They also said that Nigeria, as a nation, also needs to exploit other modes of transportation of the cargoes through the pipeline, meaning that having other modes of transportation particularly the pipeline mode of moving our cargoes to other places.

These were the views of the Executive Secretary (ES) of the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC), Barr. Hassan Bello who was speaking at  a one-day Talk Shop organised by the Maritime reporters of Nigeria (MARAN) at the International Maritime Press Centre, Apapa, Lagos recently  with the topic: ‘’.The Prospects and Challenges of Logistics Services As The Live Wire of The Maritime Industry.’’

Corroborating the shippers’ council boss, the representative of Ports Terminals Operator Limited, PTOL, who also spoke on the need to use such modes like pipelines in order to reduce the load on our raids.

According to Mr. Henry Cline, General Manager Ports and Terminals Limited, PTOL who spoke on the ‘’Terminal Operators Perspectives and Challenges in the Maritime Sector’’ noted that since the adoption of the landlord model of seaport management by the Federal Government through the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA in 2006, allowing for private sector participation into management, giant steps have taken in the provision of the following.

Mr. Cline further noted that the infusion of capital in the port development through these private terminal operators.

He also listed the effects of the private involvement into terminal management to include :’Reconstruction of quay walls, stacking areas and overall improvement in the infrastructure of the ports, procurement of new plants and equipment, extra revenues have accrued to the federal government in form of lease fees, throughput fees, etc, employment of professional hands and training of personnel resulting  in efficiency and quick turn round of vessels, reduced cargo dwell time in the ports and security of cargoes,’’ Mr. Cline said.

While lamenting the challenges faced by the port operators in the recent time, the PTOL general manager insisted that lack of security at the ports, lack of certain infrastructure and services in the post concession era, non~-provision of marine craft and many other challenges have made the operation difficult for port users.

Noting equally, that single mode of transport infrastructure serving the seaport. In his words ‘’The major mode of transport  when the ports were concessioned was road transport. This is still the case after about 11 years of concession. The implication of this is that the seaports/terminals as points of intermodal transfer are saddled with a single mode of transport to exit and receive cargoes. The consequence of this development is that the logistics of exiting and receiving cargoes are crippled when the only mode of transport is either block or dilapidated.’’

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