Port operators in Lagos have said that the anticipated six hours cargo clearance by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) under the Pre Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) scheme may not be realizable with the continuous breakdown of the customs server.
The stakeholders at a forum in Lagos described the situation as an act of sabotage by service provider, Webb Fointaine, saying that if the trend continues, it may truncate the PAAR regime as regards facilitation of cargoes out of the ports.
A clearing agent, Juli Ogboru, said while the takeover of destination inspection by the NCS is a welcome development, its success depends largely on customs having an independent server.
She said with the present condition of the service provider’s server working only twice a week, six hour cargo clearance will not be achievable.
“One of the teething problems hindering the success of PAAR is the constant break down of the system. The network is so bad, that in a week, you will only work twice which is not good to achieve the six hours clearance and so I don’t know how the PAAR will succeed without the system working. If the system is perfect, we will not have any problem with the PAAR,” she said.
Also speaking, Chairman, National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Apapa Chapter, Fred Ajuzie said the failure of the server is largely due to the volume of documents processed during the day.
He said considering the large volumes of cargoes handled at Apapa Port, the service provider should ensure that the breakdown is not experienced in Apapa.
“We observe that in the evenings, the server is working well but in the afternoon when everywhere is loaded, it will not work. Even if it is not okay in other areas, Apapa should be because it is the premier port,” he said.