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FG threatens terminals failing to collect operating fees

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The Director,  Press & Public Relations, Eric Ojiekwe in a statement on Friday, said the Minister of Transportation,  Mu’azu Sambo, made the disclosure during his three-day fact-finding tour at Onne Port, Rivers State, to ascertain why the port was not performing at a maximum capacity.

The POF is a fee introduced by the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria. It mandates a consignee to pay the fees on a container before it leaves the port.

The minister warned that such actions by terminal operators would no longer be tolerated.

Sambo expressed the government’s determination to reposition the Onne port to maximise its hugh potential in export and import trades.

“Part of the reason why I’m here is to look into why the Rivers ports are not working. Whatever the challenges are, we will address them.

“I will discuss with stakeholders and we will come up with short-term, medium- term and long-term plans on how to overcome those challenges and make the ports productive,” Sambo said.

Also speaking, the Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority, Mohammed Bello- Koko, said the government was  serious with increasing traffic at the eastern ports so as to decongest the Lagos ports.

“We are working with the Nigerian Navy to improve security  on our waterways and, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency has deployed assets under the Deep  Blue Project that would be working with the Nigerian Navy to improve security along the water ways.”

Earlier, the Managing Director of West Africa Container Terminal, Naved Zafa, said, “As part of our terminal upgrade and expansion project, we have acquired sufficient cargo handling equipment at our terminal to improve the efficiency of the port.”

Speaking further, he said that the  Nigeria Customs Service had just installed a new scanning machine at the port complex.

According to him, the scanner would facilitate trade, ensure security and drastically reduce the importation of illicit goods by unscrupulous persons, adding that it would cut dwell time by promoting faster and easier treatment of cargoes.

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