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Customs seeks measures to decongest ports

By Adaku Onyenucheya
26 January 2022   |   4:12 am
The Area Controller, Nigeria Customs Service, Tin Can Island Port Command, Abdullahi Musa, has said the lack of Government warehouses at close proximity to the port and the latitude in application of extant customs...

Terminal in TinCan Island port, Lagos. PHOTO: SUNDAY AKILOLU

The Area Controller, Nigeria Customs Service, Tin Can Island Port Command, Abdullahi Musa, has said the lack of Government warehouses at close proximity to the port and the latitude in application of extant customs laws guiding the treatment of overtime cargo by the terminal operators remain an area that needs dedicated attention.

Musa revealed this yesterday in a press statement on the overview of the command’s 2021 performance report signed by the spokesperson of the command, Uche Ejesieme.

He said the timely transfer of overtime cargo from the main port and some bonded terminals to government warehouses and the application of due process as provided by law will not only decongest the port of abandoned or overtime containers, but will also improve the cargo throughput and ultimately increase revenue collection.

Musa said, although, efforts have been made by the Federal Government, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and the Nigeria Customs Service to mitigate the challenges of infrastructure and logistics through major repairs of the port access roads, ports users expect a more organised exit and entry system for cargo trucks as well as the provision and installation of scanners at the ports respectively.

He said port users also hope that these efforts will be sustained to create a more user-friendly sea port that matches international standards and enables the facilitation of legitimate trade.

Speaking on trade facilitation, the Controller, said the revenue collected by the command in 2021 exceeded the Federal Government’s fiscal target of N350 billion with N143 billion surplus, which represents a 41.05 per cent increase.

“In the area of trade facilitation, a new terminal, Classic III Bonded Terminal was opened under Tincan Island Command improving the cargo throughput and revenue collection of the Command. In the year under review, a total of 30,441 containers were transferred under the fast track , 58, 234 containers and vehicles were approved for transit from the Mother Port to Bonded Terminals.

“With the successful implementation of a Standard Operational Procedure (S.O.P.) on barge movement, 36,496 containers were transported from Tincan Island Port Command through the waterways by barges to Bonded Terminals and Free Trade Zone.

Speaking on export, Musa said the total tonnage of goods exported through Tincan island port for the year under review was 1.7 million metric tonnes with a total F.O.B. value of N141 billion.

Giving 2022 projections for the command, Musa expressed optimism that the command will ensure improved performance in the areas of revenue collection, facilitation of legitimate trade as well as enhance the capacity and skills of officers and men of the command.