Volume dips at Apapa Port
Onne Port CAC laments lack of 24-hour operations by service providers
SHIPS & PORTS DAILY had reported that, in a move that jolted many industry stakeholders, leading destination inspection service provider, Cotecna Destination Inspection Limited (CDIL), lost its LPC prime spot to lowly-rated Global Scan Systems Limited (GSSL).
When SHIPS & PORTS DAILY visited the scanning site last Friday, officials of Global Scan were seen working frantically to clear the backlog of containers that have built up over the past one week as the company was able to scan only 120 containers per day – representing about half of the volume normally scanned by the former service provider at the port, Cotecna.
Many clearing agents, who spoke with SHIPS & PORTS DAILY, were apprehensive as their containers had to wait for unusually long periods before getting scanned.
Many of these were said to have applied to the Customs Area Controller (CAC), Comptroller Charles Edike, for approval to reroute their containers to physical examination – an approval which Edike reportedly granted promptly.
“The CAC is aware of the problem at the scanner site, so he has been very cooperative in allowing us reroute to physical examination to reduce the queue at the scanner,” Mr. Jude Amanze, a clearing agent at the port told SHIPS & PORTS DAILY.
Amanze said that close to 700 containers that have been booked for scanning are on queue at the scanner site.
The Federal Ministry of Finance penultimate week informed the service providers, namely: Cotecna, SGS and Global Scan, that, while it would retain their services for another six months after the June 2013 expiration date, it would rejig the lots allocated to them.
In the exercise, which took effect from penultimate Friday, Global Scan is now in charge of the LPC, Seme Border Station, Idiroko Border Station, and Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos.
While Cotecna lost the LPC, it retained its charge over Tin-Can Island Port, Banki Border Station in Kano State and Jibya Border Station in Katsina State.
Meanwhile, the Customs Area Controller (CAC) of the Onne Port Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Comptroller Mohammed Magaji, has said that the absence of round-the-clock operations by destination inspection service providers is a major challenge facing the Command.
Magaji lamented that, rather than putting in 24 hours of service, service providers operating at the port only give half as much, or less, which, according to him, causes delay and increases the cost of clearing at the port.
The CAC stated: “You may start work by 9.00am and by 8.00pm, they will stop work and close the server and people ready to move their cargoes become stranded. Apart from that, there is always delay in issuance of RAR (Risk Assessment Report). When it is not issued on time, people will accumulate demurrage on their goods.”