Operators of Nigeria’s largest container terminal, AP Moeller, have asked owners of 15 overtime containers to pick them from the terminal or lose them as the terminal was set to dispose them.
The concessionaire who gave the directive in a Punch publication of Thursday, gave owners of the containers one month to remove them.
The notice from the firm titled, Removal of Empty Containers read in part, “This is to inform the general public and in particular, the owners of empty containers listed below that APM Terminals Apapa Limited will dispose these overstayed containers presently sitting in the container terminal within one month from the date of this publication.
“Owners are therefore advised to come forward and evacuate the containers within one month of the date of this publication, failing which the containers will be disposed without liability to APMT.
Nigerian seaports have been struggling with cargo volume since last year and the situation deteriorated with the COVID-19 lockdown when importers were unable to clear their goods.
A directive from the Nigerian Ports Authority had urged the terminal operators to grant demurrage and rent waivers to owners of cargo that could not be cleared during the lockdown.
However, terminal operators insisted that the directive had only encouraged cargo owners to dump their cargo at the terminals without any plan to clear them.
Following this claim, the Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority, Ms Hadiza Bala-Usman called on importers and clearing agents to remove their cargo from the seaport terminals.
She said overtime cargo had occupied over 80 per cent of the APMT storage space.
APMT had complained earlier that the volume of overtime cargo contributed to the congestion at the port as trucks that brought empties could not access the terminal because of the containers inside already.