Executive Secretary, Shippers’ Council, Mr. Hassan Bello, who was hosted by NTA Weekend File last weekend, has acknowledged that there has been a remarkable improvement in the output of shipping service providers, including the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) resulting in quicker clearance of goods in the nation’s ports. He further stated that quicker clearance of goods at the ports would bring about multiplier effects on the national economy with benefits to both providers and consumers of shipping services.
Speaking in the programme, Bello expressed delight for the cooperation his Council has been receiving from the providers of shipping services, including NPA, the Customs, terminal operators and shipping companies.
“We are concerned about the dwell time on cargo. We don’t want cargo to stay very long in the port. Port is not a place of storage. As soon as cargo comes in, it is cleared. We encourage terminal operators to take their cargo away from the port for examination. We are happy we are getting cooperation from Customs, the terminal operators and NPA. We commend NPA for introducing e-commerce which means that payment which used to take five days is now done in minutes. Many agencies are embracing this. It is our job to ensure that the ports are efficient”, he said.
Bello stated that through various efforts of the Council and other agencies, there has been a remarkable improvement in port-efficiency in the Nigerian ports.
For instance, he remarked that importers who do not have query on their declarations after lodgment of entries could clear their goods within three days as against the 21 days that was obtainable before.
According to him, the turnaround time of vessels calling at the ports has improved from 21 days to three- four days. He pointed out that this was achieved through the introduction of appropriate technology in the system.
He added that the current trend of improved port’s efficiency would impact positively on the imports and the general economy as it would attract more patronage for the country.
“If you look at turnaround time for ships, it used to be 21 days. But now, three to four days and ships have discharged their cargo and they are gone. This is because appropriate technology has been introduced at the terminals. We audited these terminals and supervised them, and we advised what they need to do to make Nigerian ports efficient so that many people will use Nigerian ports”, he added.
He said that at all times, the target of the Council would be to ensure that Nigerian ports attain the highest standards of port efficiency.
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