56 vessels stuck at sea, await anchorage in Lagos

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Not less than 56 vessels are currently stock as they’re waiting at the Lagos pilot anchorage following the restrictions issued by the Federal Government in order to curb the spread of COVID-19. However, Documentation process by the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), is also being perfected.

Operations at the terminals have been frustrated by cargo congestion, thereby forcing operators to find immediate alternative measures to evacuate abandoned consignments.

According to the latest Shipping Position released by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), about 16 ships, which had been scheduled voyage at Lagos ports, have cancelled their trips in the past two months.

Also, seven of the trips involved the supply of petroleum products, while other vessels consisted vehicles and other varieties. Of the 56 vessels waiting to anchor at the docks, 30 ships are scheduled for the TinCan Island Port, while 26 are going to Apapa Port.

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Statistics from NPA, reveal that the awaiting vessels were tagged: CRNAPP, which connotes, Customs Release Not Applicable (West Coast).

The vessels, mostly consisting container cargoes, also have used vehicles, wheat, Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), also known as petrol, base oil, and fish and a host of others, are currently awaiting approval to berth.

In addition, 36 more ships are expected to arrive at the Lagos Pilotage District, between today and May 30th, with 18 of them coming to Apapa Port, and 18 others are expected at TinCan Island Port.

Petrol, used vehicles, wheat, fish, sugar, general cargo, base oil and more are consisted in the expected vessels yet to arrive. Meanwhile, dockworkers and clearing agents have raised concerns over the lack of social distancing at the seaports, saying that their members are at risk of being infected with COVID-19

The agents expressed distaste to the terminal operators and shipping companies for their failure to consider the route of automation and online platforms to attend to customers.
Adewale Adeyanju, the President-General, Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), alleged that some terminal operators failed to provide hand gloves as well as other working and protective gears available to their dockworkers.

Adeyanju added that the union discovered a lot of anomalies when he embarked on a daily patrol of the terminals with his executives.“If the situation continues and the decease keeps spreading and affecting the workers, we would withdraw the workers from the port. Because we have told terminal operators to do the right thing by way of awareness to all our members” he warned.

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