Nigerian importers have been urged to route their imports through the Nation’s Lilypond Port Terminal, Ijora, Lagos for faster and cheaper clearance process.
Mr Olufemi Olabanji, Chairman, Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Lilypond chapter, who made the clarion call explained that: “It is painful to watch the low activities at the Lilypond command, which is a customs port, and has got all the facilities to ease the suffering which importers encounter in clearing their goods at other terminals.”
The chairman of the foremost forwarding association called on the importers to utilize the provisions of International Conventions on Foreign Trade Chain, which empower them to route their cargoes to any terminal of their choice that will add value to their business and facilitate trade.
Olabanji emphasized that: “It is the right of the importers under the international trade to direct the shipping companies to deliver their goods at a port of destination, which may not be the same with the port of landing, provided that such importers indicate same on their bills of lading and manifested same”.
According to him, under the law, it is bounding on the shipping companies to deliver such goods to their manifested destinations without delay or added charges but “Many Nigerian importers do not make use of this international trade provision and other provisions, made to facilitate trade.
“Lilypound terminal is a federal government of Nigeria’s property that has been concessioned with a view to provide efficient service to port users as well as reduce costs for importers and exporters, and it is regrettable that our shippers are neglecting this well situated terminal to witness such magnitude of inactivity”.
He further stressed that the terminal has got all the required and necessary port facilities to process the clearance of cargoes within 48 hours as there is no stacking of containers, and associated delay in positioning same for examination.
The chairman charged the Nigerian importers and exporters to change their business paradigm and benefit from the positive vision of the government in establishing such a terminal, located off the usual traffic gridlock that has been the trade mark of Apapa ports’ roads nowadays.
The boss of ANLCA Lilypond disclosed that what the terminal operators require from the importers using this terminal is a seven-day notice before the arrival of the vessel to enable the officials commence the process of clearance and transfer at no cost to the importers.
“Clearing goods from this terminal is as easy as a.b.c and saves both the importers and forwarders/agents the tediousness, which has impacted negatively to the health of the agents and importers.
He noted that the terminal has the capacity to receive vehicles and clear same within 48 hours, and beckoned on importers to relief themselves of the stress and patronize this terminal, while appealing to the nation’s biggest container terminal, APMT to stem some containers to the terminal to keep it busy and save some souls, who depend on the activities there for their survival.