The Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) has solicited support of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) in enhancing efficiency and speedy clearance of cargo at the nation’s gateways.
Executive Secretary of the Council, Hassan Bello who led some management staff on a courtesy visit to Apapa and Tin can Area Command of Nigeria Customs Service, called for a synergy that would transform the nation’s ports to regional maritime hub in African sub region.
He said, “Since 2006 when the ports were concessioned, Nigeria has recorded mass improvement in terms of turnaround time of vessels but still other problems persist at the ports. We want Customs to be our critical partner in transforming the nation’s ports.”
According to him, the Federal Government is now focusing on maritime sector now that the country is experiencing fall in the price of oil.
He said that the Council had been meeting with Customs, especially, the Comptroller-General, adding that the collaboration has assisted in solving many issues at the country’s ports.
Bello, who reiterated that in spite of the sea clearance, there are still other problems after cargo had been brought as it still takes longer time before they are delivered to the consignee. He therefore advocated a synergy that would fast- track cargo clearance at the ports.
He said the council is concerned with the attainment of best practices in shipping operations.
Earlier, Area Controller in charge of Tin Can command, Comptroller Yusuf Bashar welcomed Hassan Bello and his management team to the command.
Bashar said that the delays were usually caused by shippers who engage in false declaration, which affected customs clearing processes.
He said that there was need for all stakeholders operating at the ports to collaborate for seamless operation.
Also at Apapa Customs Command, Controller of the command, Comptroller Willy Egbudin, emphasized the need for continuous support of stakeholders through honest declaration.
Egbudin said that the command is desirous of achieving 48-hours cargo clearance.
He solicited government support on standard equipment adding that adequate machineries would add more value to their operations.
“The command has made recommendation to the customs deadquarters in Abuja to bring more high-quality scanners to our operation at the ports,” he said.
Egbudin said that NCS was ready to collaborate with both government and private stakeholders in the maritime sector to enable customs to achieve its target.
He, however, urged customs officers to be more professional in their operations at the ports.
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