The Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) has solicited for support of Nigeria Customs Service to enhance the efficiency of Nigerian ports.
Hassan Bello, the Executive Secretary and Chief Executive Officer of the Council, who led his management team on a courtesy visit to Apapa and Tin can Area Command of Nigeria Customs Services, called for a synergy that would transform the nation’s ports to regional maritime hub in African sub region.
His words ‘’Since 2006 when the ports were concessioned, Nigeria has recorded mass improvement in terms of turnaround time of vessels but still other problems persist at the ports. We want Customs to be our critical partner in transforming the nation’s ports’’.
According to him, the Federal Government is now focusing on maritime sector now that the country is experiencing dwindling fall in the price of oil.
He said that the Council have been having meeting with Customs, especially, the Comptroller – General, adding that, it has assisted in solving many issues at the country’s ports.
Bello, who reiterated that in spite of the sea clearance, there are still other problems after cargo had been brought, it takes longer time before they are being delivered to the consignee.
He, however, advocated a synergy that would fast- track cargo clearance at the ports.
Nigerian Shippers’ Council, he said, is concerned with attainment of best practices in shipping operations.
Earlier, the Controller, Tincan Island Customs Area Command (CAC), Comptroller Yusuf Bashar welcomed Hassan Bello and his management team to the command.
Bashar said that the delays were usually caused by some shipping companies as well as shippers who engaged in false declaration which affected customs clearing processes.He said that there was need for all stakeholders operating at the ports to collaborate for seamless operation.
Also at Apapa Customs Command, the CAC at the command, Comptroller Willy Egbudin, emphasized the need for continuous support of stakeholders through honest declaration.
Egbudin said that the command was interested in achieving 28-hours cargo clearance.
He solicited government support on standard equipment adding adequate machineries would add more value to their operations.
The command has made recommendation to the customs Headquarters in Abuja to bring more high-quality scanners to our operation at the ports,“ He said
Egbudin said that NCS was ready to collaborate with both government and private stakeholders in the maritime sector to enable customs to achieve its target.
He, however, urged customs officers to be more professional in their operations at the ports.