Mkpoikana Udoma 16 March 2016, Port Harcourt –
Shippers in the Niger Delta region, under the aegis of Rivers and Bayelsa Shippers Association, RIBASA, has identified lack of functional ports weighing equipment as a major challenge facing effective ports operation in Nigeria.
Chairman of RIBASA, Mr. Ofon Udofia, stated this while briefing newsmen after the March monthly meeting of the association held in Port Harcourt.
Udofia disclosed that at the 7th edition of the African Shippers Day organised by African Shippers Association, the body had fixed a deadline of June 2016 for all ports across Africa to comply with internationally-acceptable standards for weighing of containers, but regretted that Nigerian ports were yet to be equipped properly with functioning weigh-bridges, hence posing a great challenge in the sector.
He maintained that efforts should be intensified to meet the internationally-accepted standards for weighing of containers.
“Nigeria is a dominant maritime player in Africa and should not be left out in this scheme. For Nigeria to align with the directive, the Federal Government needs to assist in the procurement of weighing equipment for containers handled at all the ports in the country.
“The Federal Government should take over the cost of weighing the containers for export; shippers should not bear the weighing cost because it will add to commodity cost, which in turns will make export unattractive,” Udofia said.
Appealing to the Federal Government to create an enabling environment on dedicated facilities for export, he said this was necessary “because when such facilities are put in place and equipped with functional and standard weighing equipment, it would boost the maritime sector”.