As parts of her innovations to bring operations at the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) at par with international standards, the Managing Director of NPA, Ms Hadiza Bala Usman has assured stakeholders in the industry that the Federal Government might reduce port charges to enable more cargoes come through Nigerian ports.
In a statement by the General Manager, Public Affairs, NPA, Chief M.K Ajayi, it stated that the MD gave the assurance when she paid a visit to the national secretariat of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF).
“The MD promised that should it be discovered that Nigerian ports are more expensive, the agency shall recommend to the Federal Government to reduce port charges to enable more cargoes come into Nigerian ports. She assured that the NPA was fully prepared to handle the increase in the volume of cargoes that would result from the ban of imported vehicles through land borders,” the statement stated.
The statement added that the NPA has embarked on a study of respective tariffs across ports in West and Central Africa as a whole with the aim of comparing it with what obtains in Nigeria, adding the right facilities had been put in place at the various ports to absorb the anticipated cargo surge, and all terminal operators are ready to take up the challenge.
“Our operators are very much ready to take on additional cargoes that would come following the restriction of imported vehicles through the land borders. The Nigerian ports are ready to take on the expected increased traffic. We believe the ban is a step in the right direction because we feel there is a need for us to enhance and sustain importation and earn more revenue”, she said.
While visiting the secretariat of the Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), the MD assured them the management will interact more with stakeholders this year so as to be in tune with happenings at the various ports.
To achieve this objective, she said quarterly meetings will be introduced between the stakeholders and NPA management to know what is on ground at the ports and be better informed on the plight of operators.
“The essence of her visit was to interact directly with critical stakeholders to discuss issues burning on the minds of the stakeholders and to seek collaborations on how to solve some of the challenges. She acknowledged that the need to block revenue leakages make the ports more competitive in the area of appropriate pricing. To this end, the NPA MD said there is the need for government to look at corruption at the ports and how to plug the leakages,” the statement added.
The MD further promised that as ‘a member of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Anti-Corruption, the committee, in 2017 is coming to domicile an office in the Nigerian Ports Authority on implementing a report that was submitted by the ICPC on the corruption index in ports administration, and embark strongly on anti-corruption measures in 2017.’