Bello tasks Customs on full automation of clearing process

Executive Secretary/CEO, Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC), Barrister Hassan Bello has advised the Nigeria Customs Service to fully embrace automation in the clearance process.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with SHIPS & PORTS DAILY in his office on Monday, Bello who though lauded the level of automation in NCS operation said automation was imperative to the eliminate of human contact at the ports which, according to him, leads to corruption.

He said clearance procedure was still cumbersome because all the processes have not been fully automated.

He added that full automation would increase tonnage and maximize government revenue.

“We are talking to Customs about the cargo procedure. We think the dwell time for cargo is not very good. We think the procedure for clearance is still cumbersome and near primitive.

“We appreciate the level of automation we have seen in Customs and the promotion of trade but we want it to go further in automation and electronic interface. This will wipe out corruption because there is no physical contact. It will be transparent and block revenue leakages and maximize the revenue due government and profit of the terminal operators. The moment you understand your goods will be cleared in no time, the more you will bring in the goods,” he said.

Bello said the NSC was also working with Customs as part of a technical committee that would see to the implementation of the national single window.

“We are collaborating with Customs in respect of the national single window. We are in the technical committee of Customs to implement that and we are making progress.

“Every month, we meet with Comptrollers of Customs and we bring other operators so that they exchange views and see to the improvement. So gradually, we are eliminating cumbersome procedures in the port whereby it takes a long time to clear goods.

“Our pivot is to make sure that there is automation in the operations of the port. Automation means cutting out delays, corruption, making the port more efficient and transparent,” he said.

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