Managing Director / CEO Nigerian Ports Authority NPA, Mohammed Bello- Koko (middle), Executive Director Marine & Operations NPA, Hon Onari Brown (right) and Traffic Manager Tin Can Island Port Complex, Mr. Akin Leosho.

The Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority, Mohammed Bello- Koko, at the weekend in Lagos, issued a stern warning against the illegal stripping of containers along the port access roads, stressing that the Authority will deal decisively with perpetrators of the unwholesome practice.

The NPA boss stated this when he paid an unscheduled visit to Tin Can Island Port where he inspected designated container stripping yards and the port access roads to ensure trucks are not loitering.

Specifically, he warned that truckers caught in the act stand the risk of being delisted from the Electronic Call-up System (eto) platform managed by the Truck Transit Park (TTP) Limited.

In the course of visit, Koko announced that the NPA has rolled out Standard Operating Procedures SOP for barge operators adding the SOP will serve as a guideline to all operators.

Speaking further on concerns surrounding container stripping also known as devanning, Bello- Koko emphasised that stripping constitutes a menace when undertaken outside designated yards, as it provides a platform for trucks loitering around the ports access roads which results in traffic disruptions and attendant chaos.

He said the NPA will intensify its vigilance and monitoring to nip the negative trend in the bud.

Addressing the scarcity in some of the stripping yards, the Managing Director acknowledged the impact of global economic upheavals on cargo flow and reiterated that low business downturn cannot constitute a justification for illegality.

He revealed that proposals for well-equipped stripping yards, referred to as devanning yards are receiving accelerated attention, signaling a shift from illegal roadside stripping.

Regarding sustainability of the measures, he informed that the NPA has collaborated with other government agencies and the Lagos state government to ensure that such unhealthy practices no longer take place along the port access road

The Managing Director also stated that such unannounced spot visits would become more frequent and will be followed by regular stakeholder engagements to continuously improve the seamless operations of the eto platform.

He also warned that stripping yards that violate the operational rules will face temporal shutdowns for first time offenders, and the possibility of non-renewal of land leases for recalcitrant offenders.

He noted that these stringent measures are geared towards maintaining orderliness and safety within the port environment.