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SOP: PSTT Worries Over APMT Non-adherence

BY GBOGBOWA GBOWA

The Presidential Port Standing Task Team (PSTT) has expressed disappointment over reported cases of violations and failure of the management of the APMT Apapa Terminal to adhere to the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) with regards to Joint Examination of Cargo in its terminal enshrined in the Nigerian Port Process Manual (NPPM).

Untidy examionation bay

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Accordingly, the PSTT National Coordinator,  Mr. Moses Fadipe has warned the terminal and all others involved in similar attitude to behave or face the consequences as expressly stated in the Business Facilitation Act 2022.

Fadipe who stated this during a meeting with stakeholders (port operators and users) at the Lagos Port complex, disclosed that when the PSTT took off in March 23, 2021, operators were sensitized on the key demands of the NPPM as it relates to SOP, adding that part of SOP is the joint examination of cargo at the Nigeria ports terminals by all the approved government agencies.

Explaining the drill and level of expectation, the PSTT boss said, “We succeeded in instituting the culture of strict adherence to the joint examination of cargo at the terminal before we moved to other ports, recent reports of reversion to the old order of unregulated practice has forced us to return to the terminal in full force to ensure that the right thing is done always in the terminal.

“We are not operating from nowhere. It is now an offence for you not to give the service you said you will give and it must be given within the time you said you will give it, hence service failure is now a punishable offence under the Business Facilitation Act 2022,” Fadipe warned.

He noted the complaints by port users over APMT’s failure to position containers for examination at the stipulated time is growing,  adding that port users have also complained that that APMT does not open its terminal for cargo examination until about 11:00 am to 12:00 noon contrary to the 9:00 am  stipulated time.

Fadipe worried further that such official attitude is capable of reversing the gains the country has so far recorded in terms of the on Ease of Doing Business in the Nigerian ports.

Defending the position of the Nigeria Customs Service, Customs Deputy Comptroller in-charge of APMT Apapa Terminal, DC Isa Aliyu disassociated customs from such delays,  noting that customs officers  are always on standby from 8: 30am to do their work, but lamented that they can only access the terminal when the operator opens it.

“We are always here by 8:00am. The Agents come and call us when they are ready because we cannot examine their containers in their absence because there might be one or explanations we might seek from them in the course of the examination.”

NCS also said that whereas its scanning machine has the capacity to scan 300 boxes per day, they are however limited to the numbers of containers positioned for scanning by APMT.

However, APMT Operations Manage at the meeting, Mr. Kayode Samuel, explained the observed delays to operational hitches and promised that noticeable improvement will be seen as the problem has been resolved.

Port users’ also condemned APMT disregard for clean cargo examination bay which say has been in a deplorable condition.

In a related development, in furtherance of its assignment as ports economic regulator, the South West Zone, Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) and the Oyo State Command, Department of State Services (DSS) has agreed to synergize to enhance improved service delivery.

Nigerian Shippers Council Director in charge of the South West Zone and National Coordinator, Presidential Port Standing Task Team (PSTT), Mr. Moses Fadipe who led the NSC team in a courtesy visit to DSS, Ibadan, Oyo State Command disclosed that the visit was aimed at creating harmonious working relationship with relevant Federal Government Agencies in the South West Geo –political zone to ensure efficient and effective collaboration and service delivery.

Speaking, the State Director, DSS, Mr. John Margima thanked the Director (SWZ)/ National Coordinator PSTT for his decision to visit his office, and assured that his office doors are always open.

 

 

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