The Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) Hassan Bello has called on the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to partner with the Council for a successful take-off of the Inland Dry Ports (IDP) project in the country.
Bello made the call during the inauguration of a nine-man Technical Committee on the IDP projects at the NSC Head office in Lagos.
He said the Technical Committee was set up to ensure collaboration between the Council and NCS for the successful take off of the IDP projects in the country.
Bello said it was better to get it right from the beginning so that mistakes recorded in the nation’s seaports in the past would not be repeated at the dry ports.
Describing all ports as simply Customs ports, Bello said the Council has been part of the dry ports concept since 2006, adding that the importance of having Customs in the Technical Committee cannot be overemphasized.
Bello who was full of praises for the past and present Comptroller Generals of Customs for their tremendous support and encouragement in the IDP projects, assured the Service of the Council’s resolve to work towards trade facilitation.
He disclosed that the Kaduna Inland Dry Port would soon commence full operations and about to obtain approval and recognition from the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations (FIATA) and International Maritime Organisation (IMO).
He solicited for the cooperation of Customs for a joint review of the initial draft Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) earlier developed by both organizations for the smooth operations of the IDP.
Earlier in his remarks, the Comptroller General of Customs, Hammed Ali who was represented by the Controller, Apapa Area Command, Comptroller Musa Jubrin thanked the management of the Council for initiating the IDP concept.
Ali said the dry port project will go a long way in contributing to economic diversification and pledged the support of the Service towards the actualization of the projects.
The Customs boss added that the concept was in line with global best practices of attracting investors by making port operations businesses attractive, competitive and easy.
He advised the Council and other stakeholders in the industry to key into the E-platform of the Nigeria Customs Service stating that the service is fully automated which is in line with the recent Presidential directives in the ease of doing business in Nigeria.