By Godwin Oritse
CORPORATE Fleet Owners Association, a group of truck owners, have expressed concern over the continued shut down of banks in and around the Apapa port area of Lagos, a development that is currently stalling cargo delivery process.
Speaking to Vanguard Maritime Report, President of the group, Mr. Leye Thompson, said that shipping companies and terminal operators were not issuing Terminal Delivery Orders, TDO, because payments could not be processed in banks.
Consequently, importers could not take delivery of their cargoes.
Thompson also said that until the banks are made to open shops, cargoes processed for delivery will remain in the ports and this could further congest already congested ports.
He explained that there has been smooth entry and exit of the ports by trucks since the directive on the lockdown was given, but the non-issuance of TDOs is causing delays.
He said: “The problem is that they are not releasing TDOs as at when due and the complaint is that the banks are not opened and if the banks are not working, importers cannot pay their terminal charges and if importers do not pay their terminal charges, there is no way containers can be released.
“And if nothing is done about the banks, then we could be in a fix for some time. This is the only issue we have been encountering since the lockdown, because since the lockdown, we have enjoyed free access in and out of the ports.
“Importers complained that they could pay their terminal charges to the banks and if this is not done shipping companies cannot release their containers.”