The Executive Secretary of Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), Hassan Bello has challenged terminal operators in the Nigerian ports to work on improving cargo dwell time at their terminals. Bello who visited Port & Cargo Handling Services and Five Star Logistics – both operators at the Tin Can Island Port Complex, Lagos recently, said the NSC was determined to ensure that terminal operators increased productivity to the benefit of the Nigerian economy.
He appealed to the operators to provide information that will enable the NSC carry out its duty effectively.
Welcoming Bello to the terminal, Director, Human Resources, Administration and Commercial, Port & Cargo Handling Services, Malam Mohammed Bulangu said epileptic power supply from the national grid has left terminal operators with no choice but generate electricity themselves to run their operations. “The greatest challenge we are having is the road. A lot of people are willing to come here but when they look at the road, it becomes disheartening and that has affected us. Most of us have been running 24/7 on generators right from inception. If there is efficiency, some of these challenges will not arise,” he said.
General Manager, Commercial Services of Five Star Logistics Terminal, Rigo Nazzari noted that inconsistency in government policy especially the policy on importation of vehicles has adversely affected the operation of the terminal noting that there has been about 55 percent drop in cargo traffic.
“The flip plop policy issue of the government mostly has affected us mostly because we are primarily a Roro terminal. We have had about 55 percent decrease in out traffic and this has hurt us tremendously,” he said.
Responding to their complaints, Bello promised that the NSC would forward the identified challenges to the government. He assured that the government was committed to creating the right atmosphere for commerce to thrive adding that palliative measures have already been taken to fix some of the dilapidated road leading to the ports. “The roads and the power challenges will call for intervention. We are advisers of government as far as facilities and infrastructures about ports are concerned. We are assuring you that something will soon be done. If we are able to provide power, fix road, we will start to see reduction in cost of doing business,” he said. Bello asked the terminal operators to keep the Council informed of their challenges to enable it work out ways of assisting them.
By Pita Ochai