The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has threatened to sanction shipping companies and terminal operators for any violation of the agreement on the usage of holding bays.

The threat is not unconnected to tanker drivers’ strike that grounded the Apapa area of Lagos for about two weeks now.

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

Suwaid stated: “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 confirmed that the authority’s Managing Director said at the meeting that the authority had launched an investigation 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 agreement will be sanctioned.”

Suwaid also quoted the NPA boss as saying that that the authority had consulted widely with all stakeholders before the introduction of the newly-adopted call-up system for trucks accessing the port.

Usman also noted that the system had proved to be an effective way of managing traffic in the Apapa axis so far.