It is easier to say something and not keep to it at the end of the day. Customs and other agencies might say they are ready to operate 24 hours, but when you get to the port in the evening say at 5pm or 6pm you won’t meet any Custom officer or agency there. If the Custom officers are not on duty, how will the agents clear their goods? Agents are ready to be at the port for 24hours. It is high time the Customs officers, agencies like NAFDAC, SON and port workers appreciate the efforts the agents are making to get their goods cleared. We are business men and we don’t joke with time; if we are given time, if the Custom officers are available then we are.
Custom officers don’t work at night, so how are goods going to be cleared at the port. The officers will tell you they stop activities by 6.30pm or 7pm and that is why agents don’t clear their goods at night. If agents are called upon to clear their containers they will definitely be there but the service providers are not always at the port.
Security outside the port is the major reason why clearing agents don’t clear their goods at night; nobody is sure of what can happen to their goods when it is left outside the port. This is also the reason why Customs don’t work at night but clearing agents are always ready to do their jobs from morning to night time.
Customs Officers resume at 9.00am and closes work at 5.pm at Tin-Can port. Security also acts as a hindrance and also traffic caused by the bad roads leading to in and out of the port. Also, security of cargoes. It is very difficult for officers to work 24 hours at the port; agents are always under pressure from their clients (importers) to deliver. As a result of this, it will be very difficult for clearing agents to carry cargoes on their heads
Agents can’t clear their goods at night because Custom officers are not always at the port for 24 hours, they resume at certain and before end of the day and their offices are closed. The issue of security is also a hindrance to clearing of goods at night because there is no guarantee security at the port.
At Lilypond, there are presently no containers to clear by Customs even during the day or at night.
Copyright 2016 Ships & Ports Ltd. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit given to www.shipsandports.com.ng as the source.