Private terminal operators, otherwise known as concessionaires, yesterday met with the management of the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) in Lagos.
The meeting was at the invitation of the Executive Director Marine and Operations of NPA, Engr David Omonibeke.
NPA, in an attempt to find lasting solutions to the problems of port congestion, gave the representatives of the terminal operators ample time to enlighten it on challenges encountered in their various operational areas.
Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Tin-Can Island Container Terminal (TICT), Mr. Yehuda Kotik, who opened the floor in relaying the challenges facing terminal operators identified poor clearing and customs processes as the main reasons for the backlog of containers at the terminals.
He also wants free hand for the terminal operators to adjust their local charges in line with inflationary rates in the country noting that it is only fair that the terminal operators be allowed to increase their local charges according to the changes in the cost of their operations.
“Once a year based on the inflation of last year we have to increase our local charges exactly according to inflation…We don’t need to ask to be allowed to increase our charges. We should be allowed that every year, 1st January, our THC and delivery should be identical to the yearly inflation percent” Kotik said.
The terminal operators said that they are facing a lot of hurdles trying to keep to the terms of their lease agreement with the government in the light of the nation’s economic and infrastructural problems.
Other issues brought up at the meeting were insecurity, human influx into the ports, epileptic power supply among others as deterrents to the smooth operations of the terminals.
Omonibeke assured the terminal operators that he will take their complaints to the management of the authority asserting that NPA is committed to ameliorating the problems.
Addressing journalists after the meeting, said that the challenges raised by the terminal operators was not new to NPA.
He said that the meeting was to hear these challenges directly from the terminal operators and deliberate on how to manage them to reduce congestion at the ports especially with the fast approaching yuletide season.
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