By Kenneth Jukpor
The Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) has decried multiple trade infractions such as alerts and duplicated Customs roles at the Tin Can Island Port (TCIP).
ANLCA President, Hon. Tony Iju Nwabunike raised these issues yesterday when he led ANLCA National Executives for a courtesy visit to the Customs Area Controller, TCIP, Comptroller Abdullahi Musa.
While commending the Comptroller for his dexterity in managing the Tin Can Island Customs Command over the years, Nwabunike pointed out that new challenges have emerged at the Port including; duplication of tables at the terminals and gate, return of camp boys who should be office assistants facilitating the smooth flow of cargo evacuation but beccome informants, false whistle blowers, and sometimes steal.
The ANLCA President also stated that Tin Can Island Customs is gradually losing its efficiency which saw speedy evacuation of cargoes examined and released on the same day as currently it is difficult to do examination and take delivery of cargoes at the Port on the same day.
His words: “Report getting to my office clearly shows that Tin Can Command is one of the best in the country in terms of ease of doing business and good relationship with freight agents on the field. However, permit me to point some areas that should be improved. They are; multiplication of alerts, duplication of tables at the terminals and gate, issues of manifest are becoming unbearable at the Command in recent times. It is no longer easy to perform examination and release the cargo the same day.”
While assuring that the Association with over 3,000 corporate companies licensed by Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) would continue to partner with the Service for port development and speedy cargo evacuation, Nwabunike added that members of the Association adhere to import guidelines and procedures.
The ANLCA President also seized the opportunity to introduce the Association’s newly elected Tin Can Island Port chapter executives led by Mr. Ojo Akintoye as Chapter Chairman, while adding the Customs could opt to have a joint committee with ANLCA to address the challenges outlined earlier.
On his part, the Customs Area Comptroller, TCIP, Comptroller Musa Abdullahi noted that the Command had initiated plans to address the challenges highlighted by ANLCA as they were also pointed out by an export group during an engagement, earlier this week.
Comptroller Musa, however, commended ANLCA for its role as a partner with Customs in port development over the years, even as he assured that Customs would continue to work with the Association to attain efficient port processes.
“The task of nation building is a collective responsibility and ANLCA as a stakeholder has a role to play. Let me also reassure you that compliant freight forwarders will continue to enjoy rewards for compliance,” the Customs boss said.
Meanwhile, the Area Controller encouraged ANLCA leadership to engage the warring parties in the Association, noting that ANLCA is a great body currently being held back by the prolonged disputes.
Nwabunike also lead the new ANLCA TCIP Chapter executives to the Nigerian Port Authority (NPA) officer at Tin Can where he obtained assurances for partnership and also visited the Police Area office who promised to partner ANLCA and maintain peace at the port.