Transparency and Integrity


NPA Urges Customs To Collapse Desks, Ensure 24 Hours Operation


Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Advises  Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) On Need To Collapse Multiple Export Desks.

....Says Section Meant For NCS Have Been Adequately, Demarcated.

Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has urged the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to collapse the multiple export desks at the ports, as they are creating a lot of bureaucracy.

Managing Director of NPA, Mohammed Bello-Koko, told the Comptroller-General of Customs (CGC), Bashir Adeniyi, and his team during their visit to NPA Headquarters in Lagos, yesterday, ahead of the World Customs Day (WCD), which theme focused on collaboration with agencies.

The issue of multiple export desks, Bello-Koko said, is still a major problem at the ports, noting that the export processing terminals report to separate export desks, creating a lot of bureaucracy.

He said access to the Ikorodu terminal, which handles between seven to 10 per cent export cargoes, had been a major problem, especially in the allocation of which agency owns what part.

“We have adequately and properly demarcated the sections that are meant for NCS and we have given instructions.”

So that the facility can be put to proper use to reduce congestion and the quantity of cargo that goes by road,” he said. Bello-Koko also canvassed 24-hour operations of Customs officers at the ports to ensure quick release of cargoes, as well as provision and use of scanning machines.

He urged NCS to speak with the terminal operators to see if they could provide the scanners, while suggesting that NPA and NCS will collaborate and find ways to ensure that they recoup their investment.

The NPA boss said while the terminal operators provide the scanners, “the Customs will manage, maintain and run the scanners because they are security equipment,” adding that “the essence here is to reduce breakages” of the scanners.

“Once you bring the private sector into anything, it definitely will bring efficiency. So, we are proposing, if it is something the Customs will look into, just give us the specifications, the size that you think your men will be able to man, and then we will work with the terminal operators, and if NPA needs to make budgetary provision for it, we will start doing that in phases starting from 2024,” he said.

Responding, Adeniyi said his men would collaborate with the NPA to facilitate its project aimed at achieving port efficiency, trade facilitation and promoting the competitiveness of the nation’s ports.

According to him, this is because many Nigerians are diverting their cargoes to neighbouring countries’ ports, noting that the agencies must do everything to ensure that the country’s ports remain competitive to drive the economy and generate revenue.

“Anything and everything that will help to reduce the time and costs of conducting business in our ports are those things that we are going to be exploring in the collaboration with NPA,” he said. 

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