29 August 2014, Lagos – The Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA and Nigerian Shippers Council, NSC, are set for a show down following the recent increase in berth rent by the Port Authority without consultation with the NSC.
This is even as the Executive Secretary of NSC, Hassan Bello, said the collection should be stopped immediately.
The collection of the berth rent despite the same charges slammed on cargo owners by terminal operators after the concession exercise, is expected to further increase the cost of cargo clearance from the nation’s.
The management of Port and Terminal operator Ltd., who disclosed the berth rent increase to management team of NSC that visited the terminal Tuesday, stressed that NPA commenced the collection this month.
Abdullahi Ahmed, General Manager of PTOL who led the visiting team, said NPA in a letter dated 22/7/14 and signed Engr. David Omonibeke, Executive Director I. Charge of Marine and Operations on behalf of the Managing Director, said the decision was to enable the authority meet its responsibility of berth maintenance.
Ahmed had told the visiting team that his company had to re-enforce berths 1 to 3 which are part of the area concessioned to it with about N3.2 billion.
He said that berth 4 still needs maintenance which the NPA has been foot dragging to do over the years. He said the maintenance would have cost N2.7 billion if it had been done two years ago, noting that it will now cost about N4 billion.
He said a meeting of all terminal operators was called by NPA where the new directive was disclosed to them.
Bello expressed surprised that a meeting where such decision was to be take was held without the involvement of the port regulator. He however assured that Shippers Council will work at resolving the differences in the port industry.