THE Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar, has blamed the perennial congestion which has engulfed Ashaye terminal of the Tin Can Island port on inadequate logistics support of containers for scanning by the terminal operator.
Umar noted that the inefficient cargo transfer mechanism is the root cause of the worrisome situation that has also become a source of worry to the Presidency.
The Minister who was on a tour of some of the terminals, said that the issue of space constraint is another problem that the government will also look into in an effort to address the issue of port congestion.
Tin Can Island Container Terminal (TICT), as the terminal operator, has the responsibility of taking delivery of imported cargoes which it thereafter transfers to the scanning site of the service provider, Cotecna Destination Inspection company.
The Minister also decried the slow process of transfer of cargo by the Terminal Operator, adding that the incessant server break down, compounds goods clearing procedure.
According to the Minister who was accompanied by top officials of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) during the facts-finding tour, the congestion problem could have largely been averted, if the delays associated with feeding the scanning facilities with containers had been addressed.
He disclosed that though an average of 150-200 containers were being transferred daily, the service provider had maintained that its facilities had the capacity to scan a minimum of 400 boxes per day.
Senator Umar also noted that the situation was being compounded by the large number of empty containers at the terminal and ordered that a Committee to resolve the issue of empty containers be set up immediately.
He added that the Committee should be headed by the Executive Director, Port and Marine Operations of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), with representatives from Customs, TICT, NPA, Shipping Companies, Cotecna, APM Terminal, and clearing agents’ bodies.
“We went round the terminal with the Minister and the representatives of the service provider and the Terminal Operators, and we can all see the problem. TICT has a lot of cargo, no space because empty containers have taken over most of the available spaces.
Cotecna is waiting to scan, no cargo transfer from TICT because of transportation problem.