The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) yesterday commenced the transfer of overtime containers from the various ports in Lagos to Ikorodu Lighter Terminal.
Overtime containers are loaded imported containers that over stayed beyond the 28 days period allowed by law.
The Port Manager, Lagos Port, Nasir Anas Mohammed, said in Lagos that the exercise would decongest the port.
“Moving the overtime containers from the terminals here to Ikorodu lighter terminal is meant to ease the congestion which has lingered on for a little period of time. The overtime containers have caused space constrains inside the terminals and since all the aspects must work together to attain the port operations goal, the movement becomes important and most needed,” he said.
Mohammed said that the movement had created space for newly imported containers that would be processed for importers.
The congestion at the ports had been a major concern to stakeholders in the maritime industry over the years as numerous containers were often abandoned at the ports.
Most stakeholders argued that the owners of such containers used the terminals as warehouses following insignificant charges by the port authorities.
He said that the transfer would be under the supervision of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), the Nigerian Police, the Port Police, the NPA security and operations officers.
According to him, the transfers were documented and handed over to the customs as soon as they got to the terminal.
“As soon as the containers get to Ikorodu, they are handed over and left in the care of the customs. We believe that the exercise will create a lot of space in our ports because the terminals have been complaining that they have a lot of overtime containers,” he said.
He said that the transfer of the overtime containers targeted at the total decongestion of the ports would run for a few weeks