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FG Threatens Terminals Failing To Collect Operating Fees

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The Federal Government has expressed displeasure with terminal operators that fail to pay the Practitioner’s Operating Fees, or POF.

In a statement on Friday, the director of press and public relations, Eric Ojiekwe, stated that Mu’azu Sambo, the minister of transportation, had revealed during his three-day fact-finding visit to Onne Port in Rivers State to learn why the port wasn’t operating at its full potential.

The Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria imposed a fee known as the POF. Before a container leaves the port, it must have the fees paid by the consignee. The minister issued a warning that terminal operators would no longer be permitted to engage in such behavior. Sambo expressed the government’s determination to reposition the Onne port to maximise its huge 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 the 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, of Nigerian Ports Authority, Mohammed Bello- Koko, said the government was serious about increasing traffic at the eastern ports 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 have deployed assets under the Deep Blue Project that would be working with the Nigerian Navy to improve security along the waterways.”

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 the faster and easier treatment of cargoes.

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