We have invested $220m on port equipment – APM Terminals

APM Terminals Apapa Limited said it has invested USD220 million to upgrade facilities and acquire modern container handling equipment at the terminal.

Chief Commercial Officer of APM Terminals Apapa, Mr. Neil Fletcher, said this in Lagos on Tuesday while speaking at a stakeholder’s forum on Enhancing Trade Facilitation through Ports Operations in Nigeria. The forum was organized by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI).

Fletcher noted that said since the old Apapa container terminal was concessioned to his company in 2006, APM Terminals has invested and worked hard to ensure efficiency in service delivery. He said vessel waiting time at the port facility has reduced drastically from 28 days in 2006 to less than a day at present, adding that the terminal now handles an average monthly throughput of 50,000 TEU’s.

He also said that the leading terminal operator is constructing a new administrative building and container examination facility to meet the high demand for physical inspection of cargoes.

“We are building a new three story building which includes 200 square meters of new offices for Customs in Apapa and we have a meeting with some project team who will be refurbishing the customs offices at the inspection building,” he said.

He also said that APM Terminals grants waivers to importers when necessary.

“We waive storage charges on anything we are responsible for. We get 10 to 15 requests a day for waiver and out of those request, 90 percent start off by saying, we know it is not your fault but can you help us? That is what I get. If it is our responsibility, we will waive. We waive for scanning and physical examination cargo that was not positioned within 48 hours. Most of them are not our fault but we still waive the charges,” he said.

Earlier in his address, President of LCCI, Remi Bello, said the forum is aimed at resolving the lingering challenges militating against speedy cargo clearance at the ports.

He said the challenges to include duplication of responsibilities by government agencies operating at the port and complaints about the Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) scheme of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).

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