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NPA Releases Criteria For Renewal, Issuance Of New Barge Licenses

Ololade Omosan-Agie

The Nigerian Ports Authority will not renew or issue new barge operations licenses to operators who fail to meet the minimum requirements set for obtaining operating licenses in 2022.

The NPA made the disclosure in its Barge Operations Handbook for 2022

The new guideline is not unconnected to the perennial issues with the Lagos ports where the vessels, trucks and cargo congestions persist.

The NPA said operators must ensure “That the company does not have any Director who has been convicted in any country for any criminal offence relating to fraud or financial impropriety or criminal mis-presentation or falsification of facts relating to any matter.  

“That the company is not in receivership, subject to any form of insolvency or bankruptcy proceeding or the subject of any form of winding up petition or proceedings.”

In September 2021, the NPA established a regulatory framework for the operation of barges across the nation’s seaports.

The NPA had said that the regulation dubbed, Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), must be complied with by all operators effective September 1, 2021.

The regulator last year also hinted on the release of a new criteria for the licensing in 2022.

The criteria based on the document further warned Terminal Operators against engaging unregistered/Unlicensed Barge Operators.

Other requirements are that Terminal Operators must ensure that Barge Operators do not stack barges with containers’ height higher than either the Wheelhouse or line of sight at the Bridge of the Pusher Tug or Self-Propelled Barge.

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