Lagos — The Nigerian Port Authority, NPA, has declared an emergency on the Lagos ports and commenced diversion of vessels to Eastern Ports following the congestion being experienced at the Lagos Ports.
The Managing Director of the NPA, Ms. Hadiza Bala Usman, said that arrangements have reached advanced stage as vessels are already being diverted to ports outside Lagos.
Usman also said that the shipping companies have been informed on this development adding that from Monday next week vessels will officially diverted to Eastern ports.
She explained that it was in the interest of everyone to divert vessels to other ports instead of waiting endlessly sometimes for three weeks to berth and discharges these vessels.
She said: “We have noted the attendant congestion as it relates to berthing of vessels in the last one month and off-course, the issue of the closure of the land borders is clear reason why you have more vessels calling with higher volumes.
“One of the things we have done is that we have held discussions with the key terminal operators particularly A.P. Moller Terminals and we took a decision to have the vessels being diverted to the Eastern ports.
“We believed that any vessel that has stayed in anchorage over four day should go and berth elsewhere.
“We have given the shipping companies between now and Monday, with effect from Monday, we are going to proceed with vessels being diverted to the Eastern ports.
“And you referenced that fact Onne took in one of the largest vessels that has ever berthed in the Eastern Ports during the Christmas period.
“Our position is that it is in everybody best interest for us to have these cargoes being diverted to other locations.
“With congestion, the time frame of vessels waiting at the anchorage for days in Lagos cannot be justified.
“Beyond cargo diversion to the Eastern Ports, we also held discussion with other terminals. Vessels that have been stemmed to APMT can go and berth in other terminals that have capacity to receive them.
“We held a meeting with them yesterday with all the terminal operators in the Lagos and we are going to move vessels to other terminal irrespective of whether a vessel was meant for a particular terminal.”