The Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC) recently solicited the support of Nigeria Customs Service when the Executive Secretary of the Council, Hassan Bello led his management team on a courtesy visit to Apapa and Tin can Customs Commands.
The visit was aimed at creating a synergy between the Customs and the Nigerian Shippers Council in order to enhance the efficiency of Nigerian ports to position it as the hub of maritime in the West and Central Africa region.
Hassan Bello noted that since 2006 when the ports were concessioned, Nigeria had recorded massive improvement in the turnaround time of vessels but he lamented that several other problems persist at the ports.
“We want Customs to be our critical partner in transforming the nation’s ports by solving the numerous problems at the ports.
Bello expressed worry that after the hurdle of the sea clearance, there were more problems after cargo had been brought as it takes longer time before they are delivered to the consignee. Therefore, he advocated a synergy that would fast- track cargo clearance at the ports.
The Customs Area Command (CAC) at Tincan, Comptroller Yusuf Bashar said that the delays were usually caused by some shipping companies as well as shippers who engaged in false declaration which affected the Customs clearing processes.
Bashar agreed that there was a need for all stakeholders operating at the ports to collaborate for seamless operation.
At the Apapa Customs Command, CAC Willy Egbudin also emphasized the need for continuous support of stakeholders through honest declaration and he implored the government to provide standard equipment since sufficient machinery would guarantee seamless Customs operations.
Egbudin said that the Apapa Command was interested in achieving 28-hours cargo clearance and the Command had made recommendation to the Customs Headquarters in Abuja to provide more high-quality scanners for their operations at the ports.