The Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mohammed Bello-Koko, over the weekend, said most badges operating in the nation’s seaports are low in quality and not good for use.
In a chat with journalists, the NPA boss said the authority, however, introduced Minimum Safety Standard (MSS), on all badges because some of the badges’ Pilots do not have necessary license, and are destroying the port critical infrastructure such as quays.
According to him, there are reports of cargoes falling off badges at point of loading and in other cases, point of discharge, saying badges are destroying the ports quays.
He said, “We have introduced Minimum Safety Standard (MSS) to badge operators. We have sat down with badge operators and we have told them the need to have MSS. This is because we have seen incidents where cargoes fell off badges either at point of loading or discharge and some of the badges we have currently are not safe for use and are of low quality.
“Some of them don’t even have Communication system and some of them don’t have necessary pilot licences to pilot the badges. Some of the badges can’t be identified because they are not branded.
“Now, we have introduced MSS, same thing we did with trucks because we have a time so many trucks were breaking down and we say unless a truck meets this standard, it can’t get to our port and that has stopped the menace of falling trucks for badges.
“As we are doing that we are also introducing the tariff, we are not Father Christmas we are a government agency that has been given a revenue target and they are also using our quays and at times destroying them.
“The tariff are charges published and approved by the federal government. we are working to ensure that they are appropriate tariff that won’t get them out of business.
“Badges will also be used from Lekki to other locations we will be able to do transhipment between Lekki and other ports.”