By Shulammite ‘Foyeku
As the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) plans to fully migrate to its automated system of cargo clearance known as the Nigeria Customs Integrated System (NICIS) 11, the Standards of Organization of Nigeria (SON) has appealed to the Comptroller General of Customs, Hameed Ali to integrate the agency into the platform to enhance the ease of doing business at the port.
Head, Ports and Borders of SON, Engineer Yahaya Bukar who made the appeal at a forum in Lagos at the weekend noted that SON and other agencies involved in the cargo clearance process at the port are yet to be trained on the new platform.
He said, “NICIS 11 has been launched in KLT and probably it will be launch anytime soon in Apapa but up till now, the agencies including SON have not been trained or integrated into NICIS 11.
“As I am talking to you now, most of the activities in KLT, we cannot see it the way we use to see it on the NICIS. So I am appealing to the Comptroller General that it is better for us to be integrated fast so that the issues of ease of doing business can be enhanced,”
Reacting to complaints by agents over interruption and blocking of already cleared containers at the ports, Bukar blamed insincerity on the part of the importers and their agents as reasons why SON sometimes prevent release of already cleared containers.
According to him, “The ease of doing business can only be ensured and enhanced if there are no issues with any container and once you comply with the requirement of SON, we can never stop any cargo from moving.”
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