The National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents (NCMDLCA) insisted that the management of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) must develop the Kirikiri Lighter Port to decongest Lagos ports.
In a letter issued by the National President of NCMDLCA, Mr Lucky Amiwero, titled, “Re: Avoiding Ship Deviation to other Ports By Decongesting Lagos Ports Through Utilising The Empty Space At Kirikiri Lighter Port,” said that NPA needs to play a leading role to decongest Lagos Ports.
According to Amiwero, “while we acknowledged receipt of your letter dated March 10, 2020 in reply to our letter of February 6, 2020 on the above subject matter NPA letter attached, there is no where in our letter that we suggest, for the dredging to accommodate bigger vessels, but to dredge or clear the channels leading to Kirikiri port, so as to have unhindered navigation for lighter operation for barges specifically, which has been done.
“This operation was accomplished by BACO liner operation in the Kirikiri Lighter Port before the privatization and is still available to be utilized, due to space availability and accessibility of the Kiririri Lighter Port to water Transport, which now needs NPA’s to play a leading role to avert the suppose Congestion in Lagos Ports”
He said that Kirikiri lighter port operates Baco – Liner (Barge Container Carriers), before port privatization, which allows mother vessel to arrive midstream and discharge barges from the ship to the Lighter port, which eventually assist to decongest the Ports in Lagos.
“We as a body that has served in almost 167 Federal Government committee, nine Presidential and a trainer of most NPA managers, I feel obliged that the letter which is a professional and technical advise, should have been commended and applauded by NPA, management, especially as the area in question and the clearing of water ways are still under NPA control,” he said.
Further more, he said contract of carriage has incorporated clauses in the convention of the carriage of goods by sea on the agreed route, which is identified from the contract of carriage as evidence by the bill of lading, which is the agreed route.
He noted: “We still draw the attention of NPA management to the letter, which touch on the following areas; utilizing empty spaces that is in KLT to relief Lagos of possible port congestion, dredge or clear the channels leading to KLT Lighter Port, with the part of NPA 7 per cent development levy,
“To guide against international litigation and local in compliance with the doctrine of deviation on “agreed route” in the contract of carriage, declaring state of emergency in Lagos port to utilize available empty terminal in Lagos and wave the complexity of concession by the owners in other to allow for the usage of the empty space.