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NPA clamps down on illegal container stripping

The Nigerian Ports Authority has issued a stern warning against the illegal stripping of containers along the port access road.

The Managing Director of NPA, Mr. Mohammed Bello-Koko, in a statement in Lagos on Sunday, noted that the authority would deal with perpetrators of the unwholesome practice.

Bello-Koko made this known when he paid an unscheduled visit to Tin-Can Island Port, where he inspected designated container stripping yards and the port access roads to ensure trucks were not loitering.

“Truckers caught in the act stand the risk of being delisted from the Electronic Call-up System (Eto) platform managed by the Truck Transit Park Limited,” he said.

The NPA boss also said that NPA had rolled out Standard Operating Procedures for barge operators, adding that the SOP would serve as a guideline to all operators.

Speaking further on concerns surrounding container stripping also known as ‘devanning’, Bello-Koko emphasised that stripping constituted a menace when undertaken outside designated yards.

“This provides a platform for trucks loitering around the port access roads which results in traffic disruptions and attendant chaos.

“NPA will intensify its vigilance and monitoring to nip the negative trend in the bud,” he said.

On the scarcity in some of the stripping yards, he acknowledged the impact of global economic upheavals on cargo flow and reiterated that a low business downturn could not constitute a justification for illegality.

He revealed that proposals for well-equipped stripping yards, referred to as devanning yards, are receiving accelerated attention, signalling a shift from illegal roadside stripping.

He noted that on the sustainability of the measures, NPA would collaborate with other government agencies and the Lagos State government to ensure that such unhealthy practices no longer took place along the port access road.

“These unannounced spot visits will become more frequent and will be followed by regular stakeholder engagements to continuously improve the seamless operations of the Eto platform.

“Stripping yards that violate the operational rules will face temporal shutdowns for first-time offenders and the possibility of non-renewal of land leases for recalcitrant offenders.

“Stringent measures are geared towards maintaining orderliness and safety within the port environment,” he said.

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