Zonal Coordinator in charge of Zone ‘A’ of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Comptroller Charles Edike has assured clearing agents operating at Ikorodu Lighter Terminal that the Service would soon commence transfer of overtime containers from the various port in Lagos to Ikorodu.
Overtime containers are imported cargoes that have overstayed at the port beyond the 28 days dwell time period allowed by the NCS and once an importer exceeds the period in addition to a grace period of 30 days, the Service generates a list of the uncleared cargoes and based on that, the various terminals where the containers are abandoned are required to transfer them to Ikorodu.
At present, over 1000 containers have been abandoned at the Apapa port for almost two years.
SHIPS & PORTS DAILY gathered that the Comptroller General of Customs, Hameed Ali has equally directed all terminals to ensure that the older containers are now to be transferred first to the terminal with exception given to cargoes own by government.
This is unlike what is obtained in the past where the containers are picked at random selection based on the demand of the importer.
“The CG has given us a very strict instruction that it is the oldest cargoes that must be transferred first. But if it is a government cargo that a Ministry requires, that Ministry can write us and we will position that cargo,” a source at one of the terminals told SHIPS & PORTS DAILY.
Speaking with SHIPS & PORTS DAILY, Chairman of the Ikorodu Lighter Terminal, Prince Jimoh Lawal said Edike has promised to assist by facilitating the transfer of all overtime cargoes to Ikorodu adding that the Service is desirous of making the moribund terminal more viable.
Edike was said to have given the assurance when he received executives of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) Ikorodu chapter led by its chairman, Jimoh on Thursday in Lagos.
“We came to meet the Zonal coordinator to assist us to transfer more containers to Ikorodu so that the terminal can be more viable and his response was very impressive. He said he will try to assist us,” he said.
The Ikorodu lighter terminal which serves as a customs warehouse for overtime cargoes had over the years been inactive as containers are rather abandoned at the port thereby making the port a storage facility.
The agents operating at Ikorodu had also complained about low level of activities at the terminal due to reduction in cargoes transferred to the terminal.
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