President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has directed the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing to carry out urgent and comprehensive repair of port access roads across the country, including those at the Lagos Port Complex and Tin-Can Island Port Complex, both in Lagos.
The Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola disclosed this in Lagos on Friday at an event to mark International Customs Day (ICD) 2024.
The event, which took place at the Customs Training College, Ikeja Lagos, had the theme “Customs engaging traditional and new partners with purpose”.
Oyetola said dilapidated port access roads increase the cost of internal logistics for importers and exporters.
He also assured of the government’s commitment to making dry ports located in various parts of the country functional, even as he tasked shippers to make more use of the facilities.
“The dry ports are spread all over the country. They are still building more. If we are able to do that, and we ensure we use rail most of the time, the congestion of the road particularly which leads to the port will be minimised,” he said.
Oyetola said collaboration remains germane in achieving trade facilitation and the security of the internal supply chain.
He emphasised the need to integrate sustainability into policies and strategies, bolster investments in ports, research, and technology, and, most importantly, foster inclusive alliances among stakeholders and partners.
He said the new Nigeria Customs Service Act 2023 recognises opportunities, addresses challenges, and encourages partnership between the public and private sectors.
Also speaking at the event, the Comptroller General, Nigeria Customs Service, Adewale Adeniyi said the shipping community will make more progress through collaboration.
“It has been demonstrated that partnership works. Just yesterday, you saw the seizure that was made because of the collaboration that we had with the NDLEA, so we are pushing for more of such collaboration with NPA to address the issue of port congestion and ensure our ports are more efficient.
“We have reasons for us to collaborate with all these traditional partners. Also, there are new partners whose partnership is of important to us like the National Inland Waterways (NIWA). We need to build modern jetties so, we need to partner with them to get a very strategic location where we can start our jetty, establish very effective base for our marine unit and there are so many platforms through which we can achieve these collaborations.
“I am indeed very satisfied with the stakeholders present here today. We have the presence of the Minister for Marine and Blue Economy, representative of the Minister for Trade and Investment, and agencies under the ministry were here, private sector operators and so on. We would just like to ensure that we maintain the momentum of collaboration,” he said.
In a goodwill message, Secretary General of World Customs Organisation (WCO), Ian Saunders said that the 2024 ICD theme is a strategic call to action on deepening and enriching relationships to ensure the service remains strong, relevant and mutually beneficial to stakeholders.
“Our collaboration this year is about aligning all our partnerships with the mission and values of Customs administrations to contribute meaningfully to the objectives of trade facilitation, border security and resilience of global supply chain,” he said.