Over the weekend in Lagos, the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mr. Mohammed Bello Koko, strongly cautioned against the illicit practice of stripping containers along the port access road.
He emphasized that the NPA would take decisive action against those involved in this undesirable activity. During an impromptu visit to Tincan Island Port, Koko inspected designated container stripping yards and the port access roads to ensure that trucks were not lingering.
In particular, he issued a warning that truckers engaged in such activities risk being removed from the Electronic Call-up System (eto) platform managed by the Truck Transit Park (TTP) limited. Koko also disclosed that the NPA has introduced a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for barge operators, serving as a comprehensive guideline for all operators.
Addressing concerns about container stripping, also known as devanning, Koko stressed that when undertaken outside designated yards, it poses a significant problem by encouraging trucks to loiter around port access roads, causing traffic disruptions and chaos. He pledged increased vigilance and monitoring by the NPA to curb this negative trend.
Recognizing the impact of global economic challenges on cargo flow and acknowledging the scarcity in some stripping yards, the Managing Director affirmed that proposals for well-equipped devanning yards were receiving expedited attention. He stated that collaboration with other government agencies and the Lagos state government aimed to eradicate such illicit practices along the port access road.
Koko emphasized that unannounced spot visits would become more frequent, followed by regular stakeholder engagements to enhance the seamless operations of the eto platform. Additionally, he warned that stripping yards violating operational rules might face temporary shutdowns for first-time offenders, and persistent violators could risk non-renewal of land leases. These stringent measures, according to Koko, aim to preserve orderliness and safety within the port environment.