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Clearing agents call for decongestion of Lagos ports

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Lucky Amiwero

• Terminal operator to offload 1106 overtime containers
Clearing agents under the aegis of National Council of Managing Directors of Customs Licensed Agents, (NCMDCLA), has called on the Federal Government to ensure swift decongestion of the Lagos ports,to give room for efficient cargo handling.

National President, NCMDCLA, Lucky Amiwero, in a letter to the Presidency, said the Federal Government should compel the Terminal Operators and Shipping Companies to transfer all overtime and seized goods to Federal Government Warehouse to ease port congestion to avoid surcharge by international community.

He said the responsibility to transfer all overtime and seized goods are the sole responsibility of the Terminal Operators/Shipping companies as contained in Section 31-(1-2) of the Customs and Excise Management Act C 45 of 2004.

However, the power to submit the overtime and seized goods is conferred on the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), by Section 31(1-2) and the transfer of the said goods is the responsibility of the Terminal Operators/Shipping Companies as contained in the Act, which clearly states, in section 31-(2).

Amiwero said all overtime and seized goods are the property of the Federal Government as contained in Section 31, 20 and 97 of the Customs and Excise Management Act C 45 of 2004.

According to him, the congestion may further paralise activities at terminals as more cargoes are expected into the country through seaports, due to the shut down of the land borders.

Amiwero explained to The Guardian that the cargoes are expected to be moved to the government warehouse in Ikorodu after the expiration of grace period.

According to him, the law gives the Customs prerogative to move the cargoes. He therefore asked the government to compel the NCS to transfer the cargoes to Ikorodu.

Meanwhile, the a major terminal in Apapa port, APM Terminals Apapa, said it is in support of efforts by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), to decongest the port to enable the discharge of new containers.

The terminal, in a statement yesterday, requested importers of about 1106 containers that have been in the terminal for 365 days to 4000 days, to urgently clear them.

To assist importers, and in support of government policy, the Terminal promises to offer 35 per cent discount on the storage charges for any of the containers delivered until 15thDecember 2019. However, it noted that full tariff would be payable from 16th December 2019.


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