Despite the challenge of low volume of cargo, the Tin Can 11 command of the Nigeria Customs Service said it generated the sum of N3.1billion between January and April, 2017.
Controller of the command, Comptroller Abdukadir Dalhatu who disclosed this at a stakeholders meeting organized by the command on Wednesday said the amount is against N1.6 billion collected in the corresponding period of last year representing an increase of 119 percent.
Dalhatu task the agents to continue to sensitize their importers on the need to stem their containers to Lilypond even as he assured that the command will continue to improve on its operations to generate more revenue.
He expressed appreciation on the effort made by the management of Lilypond Container Terminal at ensuring that containers billed for the command are duly transferred which according to him has helped boost the command’s revenue.
“From January to date, I am really glad that we are forging ahead despite the challenges we are facing. Last year, first quarter, we are able to make only 28 percent of our revenue target. Same period this year, we are able to meet our target and even surpassed it by 119 percent. That to me is a very good start.
“I appreciate your effort especially the terminal operator who made sure that containers meant for us are duly transferred to us. Even those that are not meant for us, we find way of bringing them down here so that they can boost our revenue,” he said.
He implored the agents to make honest declaration and avoid ambiguous documentation to help Customs facilitate clearance of goods.
Reacting to the planned strike by the agents over the non-stemming of containers to the command, the Customs boss appealed to the freight forwarders to shelve their proposed strike.
Dalhatu advised the agents to exhaust all area of engagement with the terminal operators to outline their challenges before embarking on any industrial action.
Terminal manager, Lilypond Container Terminal, Kayode Daniel in his response noted that the terminal from inception has been the highest beneficiary of cargo stemming in Lagos.
He however noted that due to the general downturn in volume of imports into the country, terminals are no longer willing to transfer containers as they are yet to utilize their space.
“Majority of the terminals are now trying to utilise the space they have meaning that you now see less container going out as stemming. Containers no longer go out of the port as it used to be. So it is not a Lilypond issue. Out of over 25 bonded terminals in Lagos, less than 5 are currently working.
“So the urge to put container out is no longer there. Volume of cargo has dropped significantly in the last two years. Efficiency in port operation has made fewer containers to be required to move out of the port,” he said.
He assured that the management will put measures in place to minimiSe the delays sometimes experience in transfer of containers in order to make the terminal more viable.