NPA Initiates Auctioning of Overtime Cargoes to Alleviate Port Congestion

The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has announced the commencement of the removal process for overtime cargoes in order to reduce congestion at the ports.

Cargoes are considered overtime when importers fail to clear them within a 90-day period, and such cargoes can be seized by customs authorities.

The NPA has undertaken this initiative to address the issue of congestion and facilitate more efficient operations at the ports.

Josephine Moltok, the General Manager of Corporate and Strategic Communications at the NPA, emphasized the importance of evacuating these overtime cargoes in a statement released in Lagos.

“The Lagos and Tincan
Island Port Complexes and the terminals therein including Ikorodu Lighter
Terminal have over the years been occupied with 3,200 units of overtime cars
and about 3,295 units of overtime containers respectively”, Moltok said.

“This awkward situation, apart from constraining terminal
spaces required for seamless cargo handling operations in the ports, has
contributed to deterioration of port infrastructure.”

Moltok said the port infrastructure is designed as transit
locations as opposed to holding dead weight tonnages for years, which these
age-long overtime cargoes constitute.

“Following the
inspection tour which held on June 23 and June 24 respectively, an
all-stakeholder sensitisation involving shipping lines, and association of
freight forwarders and clearing agents was convened on June 26,” she said.

“It was unanimously agreed that all cargoes and containers
that have overstayed their required time at the ports should be auctioned
“in-situ” (in their current locations) and removed immediately from the ports.”

Mohammed Koko, managing director of the NPA had at several
events asked the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to auction overtime containers
to decongest the nation’s ports.

He said the containers occupy space and prevent other
cargoes from being imported into the country.