Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Ms Hadiza Usman says the Authority does not have constitutional or moral right to direct an importer/exporter on the port to use.
Usman said this in Port Harcourt on Tuesday at the Rivers Port Stakeholders’ meeting.
She said it was the right of an importer/exporter to use the sea port of his or her choice while transacting import and export businesses.
The managing director was represented by Mr Sokonte Davies, NPA Executive Director, Maritime Operations.
Usman said that the Lagos ports were “not congested,” but that the access roads were in bad state and that the government was making plans to fix them.
She noted that most of the importers/exporters that used Lagos ports were from South-West.
She said that NPA would procure six gun boats to tackle security challenges on the waterways.
According to Usman, NPA had eased up the system of doing business before the executive order was issued, noting that the policy had paid off handsomely.
Usman said the authority did not charge money for services it did not render to importers and exporters.
She said that it would be difficult for all inspecting agents to inspect a vessel at the same time, adding that the exercise could only be done in turns.
Usman promised to address users’ complaints constitutionally and hinted that the meeting would hold quarterly to enhance harmonious relationship between NPA and stakeholders.
The shipping companies/agents had complained of lack of pilot cutters; inadequate security, poor light as well as shallow Bonny channel which needed dredging.
According to stakeholders, big vessels are diverted to other pots due to the shallowness of Bonny Channel, among others.
The MD held a similar meeting on Monday with stakeholders in Onne Ports.