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NPA to sanction shipping/terminal operators over non- compliance on holding bays



The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) is to sanction all erring shipping companies and terminal operators that failed to comply with an agreement on the use of holding bays.
The Managing Director, NPA, Ms Hadiza Usman made this known on Thursday in Lagos.
According to her, the agreement which was reached in November, 2017 between the shipping companies, terminal operators and the NPA, was to provide holding bays for their trucks and containers through the newly- adopted call-up system.
“These were part of the resolutions adopted at the end of two meetings between the managing director NPA and the leadership of truck drivers and Maritime Workers Union in response to recent protests by truck drivers at the Lagos Port Complex and Tin- Can Island Port.
“We had a meeting on 11th July, 2018, and informed the operators that the Authority had launched an investigation into the level of compliance or non-compliance with the agreements reached between the Authority, shipping companies and terminal operators.
“Any company found to have contravened this agreement will be sanctioned, ” Usman said in a statement signed by the Assistant Spokesman for NPA, Malam Isa Suwaid.
On the newly adopted call-up system for trucks accessing the port, Usman explained that the authority had consulted widely with all stakeholders before the introduction of the system.
She said that the system had proved to be the most effective way of managing traffic in the Apapa axis till date.
Commenting on complaints over allegation of extortion by some security agencies, the managing director assured that the Authority would investigate the allegation and culprits would be made to face the appropriate provision of the law.
The Chairman of the Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMATO), Chief Remi Ogungbemi and the President-General of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), Mr Adeyanju Waheed said that the call-up system had sanitised traffic congestion on the Apapa axis.
The managing director said that the meeting between the NPA management and the union leadership was in furtherance of getting amicable solution to issues arising from the operation of the call-up system as part of the Authority’s Traffic Management Strategy.
Usman noted the allegation of extortion by security agencies and the utilisation of holding bays by shipping companies and terminal operators as defined by the November, 2017 agreement.
In another development, Rep. Jones Onyereri, the Chairman, House Committee on Banking and Currency, on Thursday said the National Assembly (NASS) would ensure speedy passage of the Nigerian factoring bill.
Onyereri, said this at the Nigerian Factoring Roundtable, a breakout session at the ongoing Afreximbank Annual Meeting in Abuja.
According to him, factoring is a financial position whereby a business sells its account receivable to a third party called a factor at a discount.
He said the process made it possible for a business to convert a readily substantial portion of its account receivable into cash.
“Factoring in the world all over has become a going source of external finance for small enterprises, and Nigeria firms should not be excluded from its benefits.
“The introduction of factoring in the financial sector will serve as complementary financing to conventional financing and will largely target Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
“This will enable the provision of cash flows to MSMES, especially those that have quality receivables and may not be in the position to obtain adequate conventional bank finance due to high interest rate, collateral or credit profile constraints.
“NASS strongly believes in the importance of this bill as a revolutionary financing tool that will help the MSMEs in Nigeria, we therefore, seek for a quick passage of this bill.
He said the bill would provide for the scope of application of the law as well as the regulation and supervision of factoring activity by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
“It will criminalise any act by the factor, client or debtor that constitute fraud or misrepresentation, provide jurisdiction for conflict dispute resolution.
“It will also give the Federal and State high court jurisdiction to criminal matters arising from factoring activities.
“This is essential, so we should ensure that the factoring law in Nigeria works, especially for our MSMEs that forms the bulk of the private sector which is where the bulk of the wealth for any positive thinking nation should be,’’ he said.
The chairman then said it was imperative that the legislature and critical stakeholders worked together to ensure a right and workable model of factoring for Nigeria’s collective populace.
He said the NASS would take a critical look at the bill to come up with a workable law that would be of best benefit to the nation.
Onyereri assured of the commitment of NASS to come up with legislative intervention that would guarantee efficacy and effectiveness in the banking sector of the country.