Bellington Cargo Host Stakeholders, as NPA Vacates APM Terminals from Export Screening

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By Innocent Orok

In order to discourage delay and boost cargo exports, the management of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has concluded plans to vacate APM Terminals Apapa from export screening at their gate starting from May 1, 2024.

Managing Director, NPA Mallam Mohammed Bello- Koko gave the directive during a quarterly stakeholders meeting put together by Bellington Cargo Limited held at its expanded import and export Cargo terminal at Okokomaiko, along the Lagos – Badagry expressway ( Lagos – Abijan) corridor in Lagos State.

The NPA boss who was represented by the Port Manager, NPA Lagos Ports Complex (LPC), Charles Okaga was responding to questions raised by stakeholders about the numerous challenges faced on export cargoes especially at APM Terminals and Tin Can Island Container Terminals (TICT) respectively.

He reiterated that management of APMT Apapa has been mandated to steer clear from any form of hindrance for cargo laden trucks on exports adding that the Federal government frowned at any distractions against exportation.

Bello-Koko maintained that Export Processing Terminal (EPT) has come to stay in furtherance to promoting trade facilitation alongside the ease of doing business at the nation’s seaports.

He said “The APM terminal is to move their export screening gate to the main gate of the port so that once their activities is concluded there, any export truck that moves into the port will drive straight to the terminal without any further impediment or encumbrance to his movement into the port,” he added.

On the large turn out of stakeholders at the meeting he said questions raised are valid and about 70 percent of the issues have been addressed.

“And the ones we are hearing for the first time today we will address it and the way we are addressing issues we normally call for a stakeholder forum where we get to cross the bridge of ideas from people and from the cross section of participants.

“We listen to various options and then we come to a decision that is workable, practicable and decisions that are easily operateable,” he said.

Speaking on the Bellington facility, he said it is a brave attempt by indigenous business concerns to help in economic growth and development.

“The facility as you can see is a one stop facility for export and is an attempt to bring port operations to the grassroot and closer to the hinterland,” he added.

He also urged exporters to key into the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) saying that the establishment of Bellington Cargo Limited along the Lagos- Abidjan corridor is instrumental for exportation of Nigerian products.

Also speaking Managing Director, Bellington Cargo Limited , Mr Augustine Esiekpe called on the government at all levels to look inward and address the harassment and extortions by thugs (Agberos) from truck drivers and motor boys.

Esiekpe lamented that designated exports have suffered many setbacks because of the situation along the roads orchestrated by urchins. He noted that an enlarge stakeholders meeting will hold in two months to brainstorm and resolve most of the bottleneck militating against exports trade, adding that more agencies of the Federal government like the Nigerian Shippers Council will be in attendance.

Earlier, a cross section of stakeholders in attendance accused management of APMT, Apapa over alleged delays of export cargoes at the Apapa port. They lamented that export cargoes spend close to 13 days at APM Terminal which according to them negates trade facilitation .

Bellington Cargo Limited is a private owned expanded import/ Export facility terminal installed with the NPA, E-call Up System. Other facilities include large stuffing space, weighbridge, Customs cargo examination, warehousing, haulage services, among others.

The terminal is located at Okokomaiko area of Lagos State as a connected route with few minutes drive to access, both Apapa and Tin Can Island Ports and few hours drive to Seme/ Krake border post to connect ECOWAS countries of Benin Republic, Togo, Ghana, Ivory Coast among other African Countries.

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