Media Adviser to APM Terminals Apapa, Mr. Bolaji Akinola, said that contrary to the erroneous impression being created by its detractors, APM Terminals is not responsible for the scanning of containers at the port nor for any delay associated with the scanning.
“Scanning is the responsibility of Cotecna and Customs. APM Terminals only intervened by taking over the logistics to bring about efficiency in the system. We voluntarily took over the responsibility of providing logistics of scanning (using trucks to move containers to and fro the scanner site) because the previous arrangement was not working well. Less than 60 containers were scanned per day and trucks were forced to wait for up to three days to complete the scanning process.
“When we intervened, we had a written agreement with the service provider that no more than 200 containers per day can be scanned partly due to the capacity of the single fixed scanner and also due to the fact that there is no pre-advice given by Customs. Please note again that we are not responsible for providing the scanner or for operating it. It just happens that it is erected on our facility contrary to what obtains at Tin Can Island Port where the scanner is located outside the main port terminal. Since our intervention commenced, we have received several commendation as the waiting time for trucks was eliminated saving those who hire the trucks about N30,000 per day (or N90,000 for the three days). This is despite several constraints including the fact that Customs does not advise us on the containers that need to be positioned in advance. We must wait until the customers (importers) are advised individually by Customs as to whether or not their container needs to be scanned,” Akinola stated.
He advised on the need to honour the agreement of sticking to scheduling not more than 200 containers a day for scanning, so as not to jeopardise the help APM Terminals is providing to importers in getting their boxes scanned.
He also debunked insinuations that the terminal operator lacks sufficient cargo handling equipment, stating that “contrary to the propaganda being bandied about; there is no shortage of equipment at our terminal. We have more than enough equipment. In fact, we have much more than what is normally required for a facility the size of Apapa.”
Akinola warned that if APM Terminals is forced to hands off the scanning logistics, truck queues are bound to return to the scanning site, because the number of containers that will be scanned daily will drop drastically to about a third of what is currently being scanned.
He also disclosed that the leading terminal operator is not taking the malicious publication against it by some clearing agents lightly, as it has briefed its legal team to institute legal action.
“We will not fold our hands and watch people tarnish the image of our organisation. We are a global brand with a reputation that has taken several years to build and no one will be allowed to cause damage to our image.
Those who make unfounded allegations against us must be ready to proof such allegations or be ready for legal action. The media is also advised to cross-check bogus claims before they publish so that they don’t become tools in the hands of those who seek to destroy the image of an organisation that is of strategic importance to the economy and that provides jobs for thousands of Nigerians,” Akinola said.
He said that APM Terminals is a responsible organisation with global best practices, and, hence, will never charge for services not rendered or bill for any delay caused by it.
APM Terminals is a global terminal operator, which maintains the same standard of operation in the 68 countries and 69 port facilities.
The Global Terminal Network of ports and inland services provide the infrastructure for the growth of international trade, 90 per cent of which travels by sea.
Notably, international commerce is an economic growth engine, creating jobs, lifting economies and improving people’s lives around the world.
With world headquarters in The Hague, Netherlands, the company’s core expertise is the design, construction, management and operation of ports, terminals and inland services with a Global Terminal Network in 68 countries including 69 ports and 160 inland services operations.
APM Terminals Apapa took over operation of the Apapa Container Terminal, Lagos Port Complex (LPC), Apapa, in 2006.
The company has since upgraded, modernised and improved efficiency at the terminal eliminating inefficiency, congestion and vessel queue, which was costing Nigerian port users over $200 million annually.