NPA sanctions MSC, Hull Blyth for lack of functional holding-bay
by AMAKA ANAGOR
February 21, 2018 | 4:02 pm| | | Start Conversation
The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) said it has sanctioned two shipping companies: Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) and Hull Blyth Shipping Company for not having functional holding-bays to receive their empty containers from shippers.
This move was in furtherance to the plans of finding lasting solutions to problem of incessant traffic gridlock limiting movement and the growth of business around Apapa port and its environs.
The sanction, according to the NPA, means that both companies would not be allowed to operate in Nigerian ports until they have functional holding-bays for receiving their empty containers. NPA also said that the vessels owned by the listed companies, would not be allowed to berth at Nigerian ports.
Hadiza Bala-Usman, managing director of the NPA, who disclosed this at the First Quarter Stakeholders’ Engagement organised recently by the NPA, said that shipping companies must begin to make use of their holding-bay in order to reduce the number of trucks queuing on the port access roads to return empty containers to the ports.
“To this effect, two shipping companies were sanctioned for not having holding-bay. We would go further to withdraw our services to their vessels and any other shipping company that fails to provide a functional holding-bay, would be denied access into the port,” she said.
Reacting to the allegations that Maersk Line does not have spacious holding-bay that can take reasonable number of containers but was only racketeering and deceiving port users, Usman warned that if such allegations were found to be true, that Maersk Line’s operations would be shutdown.
“It is simply unacceptable for Maersk Line to hold Nigerians to ransom. Whatever racket you think you are running, has to come to an end, you do not have holding-bay but you claim you have, nobody can play with our minds, we are all adults and we all have responsibilities,” she said.
According to her, all shipping companies must sign-up where their holding-bays are located and must be published in national dailies for the benefit of the public.
“We have the need to priortise these ports in terms of infrastructural deployment such that aside road reconstruction, we want these shipping lines to have functional; holding-bays. Nobody should come and destroy our ports because they want to make money,” Usman warned.
Joshua Asanga, general manager, Marine and Operations of the NPA, said that the authority would carry out inspection of shipping companies and their operational activities on regular basis. He also assured that a team set up by the NPA would ensure enforcement of the rules.
On his part, Christopher Holmes, managing director of Hull Blyth shipping company said that the problem at the ports is not about lack of holding-bay but that the capacity is not enough. He claimed that the company has holding-bay of 8,000 twenty equivalent units (TEUs) of container capacity.
MSC Shipping, which denied that its operation was suspended by the NPA, said that the company has holding-bay of 10,000 TEUs.
Kehinde Iyawun, logistics manager, said that the company has holding-bays at SIFAX Off-Dock terminal in Okota with 2,500 TEUs capacity; Advanced International Merchant Limited located at kilometer 8 Redeemed Camp Gate on Lagos-Ibadan Expressway with 5,000 TEUs capacity and another facility at Sagamu with 5,000 TEUs capacity.
NIMASA honours Maersk, GAC, Charkins, others for promoting maritime devt
The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), has recognised some maritime companies for their outstanding contributions towards the development of the nation’s maritime sector.
The companies include Maersk Nigeria Limited; Gulf Agency Company (GAC) Nigeria Limited; Charkins Maritime and Offshore Safety Centre alongside some Staff of the Agency who have demonstrated commitment to the sector over the years.
The awards, which was held in Lagos recently, was categorised into Shipping Company of the Year 2017 (Dry Cargo); Shipping Company of the Year 2017 (Wet Cargo); Maritime Education and Training Institute of the Year 2017; Manning Agent of the Year 2017; Seafarers’ Employer of the Year 2017 and the NIMASA’s best staff of the year including the recognition of other staff, who have meritoriously served the agency for years.
Dakuku Peterside, director general of the NIMASA, said the awards were to identify and encourage industry players, who have contributed to the development of the sector in the past year. This, he said, will further encourage others to be active towards the growth of the blue economy.
He stated that the initiative was in line with the repositioning and restructuring drive of the Agency for the growth of the industry.
Peterside commended the awardees especially the long serving staff of the Agency for their efforts in building a viable maritime sector for Nigeria over the years through their selfless service and dedication. He charged them and all other stakeholders to continue to do more for the growth of the sector as the award calls for double efforts.
“Today, we honour some of our best staff and stakeholders that have also contributed to the growth of this industry. Nigeria is an oil producing nation, but if our oil is not shipped out of the country, we would not bring any value to that and so, we play different roles to achieve that”, Peterside said.
Peterside also charged the staff of NIMASA to redouble their efforts in order to ensure that the tempo is sustained saying the agency would continue to invest in capacity building.
The NIMASA boss called on stakeholders to continue to support the cause of the Agency in repositioning the Nigeria maritime sector in line with global best practices.
The high point of the event was the presentation of a plaque and cheque of N1 million to the best staff of the year, in the person of Titus Ajayi from the Finance Department.
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