The Nigerian Ports Authority has set up a committee to look at the contending issues surrounding the Apapa gridlock, its effect on stakeholders and mitigating steps.
The General Manager, Corporate and Strategic Communications, NPA, Jatto Adams, disclosed this to our correspondent over the weekend.
Also during the weekend, reports had surfaced that the agency might be prevailed upon to grant a-30 per cent waiver on lease and container throughput fees to terminal operators in order to cushion the effect of the Apapa traffic.
The report had quoted the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers Council, Hassan Bello, as stating this when he said the traffic situation in Apapa called for special sacrifice from all stakeholders involved in the port process.
Bello was quoted to have said that the NSC was currently in talks with NPA on the need to grant the 30 per cent waiver in port dues to terminal operators.
He said “We are also talking with NPA to relax and make the charges and give 30 per cent waiver of certain charges within the period contemplated. This is a temporary measure, but this is what I call general average sacrifice in order to save the situation. When a ship is about to capsize, we have a general average situation where the heavy cargoes are jettisoned and thrown overboard in order for the ship to survive.
“This is what we have been doing, everybody is coming along. Why the usual taskforce failed at that time was because there was no coming together of minds. It was just touching of one thing. Meanwhile, the problem of the port is a hydra-headed monster, when you cut one, another three will spring up.”
Adams, however, said a decision had not been taken concerning a-30 per cent waiver on the agency’s lease.
“I am not aware of this 30 per cent waiver on our lease, but talks are ongoing and a committee is in place to look at contending issues. So, until the report of the committee is made available to the management for an informed decision, no waiver has been granted,” he said.