By Aisha Cole
Lagos – The Management of APM Terminals in Apapa has said that it does not deliberately delay cargo in any port terminal, as this would work against its business interest.
The General Manager, Government, Stakeholder Relations and Communications of APM Terminals Apapa, Mr. Augustine Fischer, made this known in a statement in Lagos.
According to him, the terminal in Apapa is a gateway terminal and from a business perspective, it makes sense to have high flow of imports and exports and not store cargo in the terminal.
“In fact, we work tirelessly to ensure cargo leaves the port in Apapa as soon as possible to avoid vessels having to wait to berth due to lack of space to discharge containers,” he said.
Fischer also disclosed that in the past year, APM Terminals did not experience Information Technology problems that affected cargo delivery.
He added that there was also no protest by any association of freight forwarders.
Also, the president of Nigerian Importers Integrity Association (NIIA), Mr Godwin Onyekazi spoke in similar vein.
He quoted him as saying that it was inconceivable that any terminal operator would either impose arbitrary charges on its customers or deliberately delay the delivery of containers.
He said the challenges in cargo delivery at the ports in Lagos were as a result of poor port access roads and poor traffic management in Apapa.
Onyekazi said a new truck call-up system introduced by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) had worsened the plight of truck owners, consignees and their agents.
“The whole of Tin Can and Apapa ports are now in a state of comatose. There is a near total gridlock, because trucks are not allowed into the port as much as they should be.
“With the gridlock, government revenue will also continue to suffer while diversion of cargoes to the ports of neighbouring countries and smuggling will continue to be on the increase,” he said.