Tanker drivers’ strike: NPA to sanction erring shipping firms over holding bays

Isaac Anumihe

Following the tanker drivers’ strike that grounded the Apapa area of Lagos for two weeks now, the Federal Government has threatened to penalise all erring shipping companies and terminal operators for their failure to comply with an agreement with the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) on the usage of holding bays.

In a statement, Assistant General Manager (AGM), Corporate and Strategic Communication of NPA, Isah Suwaid, said the agreement, which was reached in November 2017 between the shipping companies, terminal operators and NPA, compelled all shipping companies and terminal operators to provide holding bays for their trucks and containers through the newly-adopted call-up system.

According to Suwaid, this was the resolution reached at the end of the meeting between the Managing Director of NPA, Hadiza Bala Usman, and truck drivers.

“These were part of the resolutions adopted at the end of two meetings between the Managing Director of NPA, Hadiza Bala Usman, and the leadership of truck drivers and the Nigerian Maritime Workers Union (MWUN) in response to recent protests by truck drivers at the Lagos Port Complex (LPC) and Tin Can Island Port (TCIP),” he said.

The AGM said the Managing Director informed the meeting that the authority has launched an investiga- tion into the level of compliance or non-compliance to the agreements reached between the authority, shipping companies and terminal operators, warning that “any company found to have contravened this agree- ment will be sanctioned.”

On the newly-adopted call-up system for trucks accessing the port, Usman explained that the authority had consulted widely with all stakeholders before the introduction of the system, adding that the system has proved to be the most effective way of managing traffic in the Apapa axis till date.

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Author: Tokunbo David