The Comptroller General of Customs, Hameed Ali has assured that the Service would soon designate Ikorodu Lighter Terminal as export port to make it more viable.
Ali gave the assurance when he visited the terminal in company of the Managing Director, Nigerian Port Authority (NPA) Mallam Habib Abdulahi on Tuesday as part of his one -week working visit to Lagos last week.
This was the first official visit of the Customs boss to the terminal since he was appointed as he could not visit the facility during his initial visit to Lagos last year.
Currently, the terminal, which is a government warehouse, serves as a storage facility for overtime cargoes that have over stayed in the port, beyond the 28 days stipulated by Customs regulations.
Customs officers and clearing agents operating at the terminal had over the years complained about the inactive state of the command as most containers have been abandoned to rot at the terminal.
Chairman, association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agent (ANLCA) Ikorodu Chapter, Prince Jimoh Lawal while expressing satisfaction with the desire of the Customs management to revive the terminal told SHIPS &PORTS DAILY in his office on Tuesday that the plan if actualized would increase Customs revenue generation.
He said, “The two warehouses we have here are not in good condition and when the CG came, he looked at it and he promised that the Service will put it in order so that it will be useful and functional for seized goods and for export. One will be used for seized goods and the other one will be used for export.
“We welcome this initiative by Customs because it will make this place more viable and functional and Customs can generate more revenue. Even those of us working here can get our means of livelihood,” he said.
Lawal however noted that to designate the terminal as an export base, the Customs Processing Centre (CPC) at the terminal which has been idle for years must be made functional.
“We must have a functional CPC here so that every processing of documents will be done here without having to take them to any mother port.
“Presently, what they do here is that whenever goods come in and the entry is here, Customs will reexamine it and after that, they will send the document back to the mother port where the goods came from for verification of the document and payment.
“This process usually takes longer time between two weeks and one month. All these can be done here if we have a functional CPC. So now that Customs is considering making this place an export port, they should address this issue,” he said.
He also appealed to the Customs management to help evacuate containers that have been abandoned at the terminal for over 7 years to give room for new ones.
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