The Nigerian Ports Authority has urged the Nigeria Customs Service to scrap all export seats at various commands of the service.
The Managing Director of NPA, Muhammad Bello-Koko, made this appeal recently when he hosted the Comptroller General of Customs, Adewale Adeniyi, and his management team at the NPA’s head office in Lagos.
Bello-Koko frowned at the situation where export processing terminals report to the export desk at the seaports.
He said collapsing the command export desk would ensure that the export processing terminals work optimally.
In November 2022, NCS created the Lilypond Export Command to promote exports.
Bello-Koko said, “We have raised the issue of export. We have seen a tremendous increase in the percentage and quantity of export cargo and we appreciate that, but we still have a little problem because we have an issue with multiple export desks.
“The first time we met, I raised the need to find a way to collaborate and collapse the export desks at the ports so that an exporter will report to that export desk where you have the combined desk. That way, it will be easier to facilitate export cargoes instead of multiple desks that currently exist,” he said.
The NPA boss also pledged to work with the NCS to deepen trade facilitation and drive exports.
This, according to Bello-Koko, is part of measures to support the Federal Government’s economic diversification effort.
Bello-Koko added that the agency had gone around to assess the effects of overtime cargoes at the ports.
According to him, the authority expended huge funds for moving the overtime cargoes from the seaports to the Ikorodu terminal.
“Overtime cargoes have occupied a lot of economic space and it is creating difficulty in clearing cargo because there isn’t space.
“The ports are very small; however, the auction has started, the bid has started and the overtime containers have been moved to some locations but in our initial discussions, we have asked that all the money Nigerian Ports Authority spends should also be considered,” Bello-Koko said.
In his response, the CGC stated that the visit to NPA was to renew friendships and deepen existing relationships and collaboration.
According to him, the vision of NPA is to ensure port efficiency would help the service facilitate trade and regain lost cargo to neighbouring countries’ ports.
“The Nigerian economy is driven by our ports and finally, we want to make our ports more efficient because when the ports are more efficient, it would translate into better efforts in revenue generation. So, anything and everything that would help to reduce the time and the costs is what we would be exploring.
“If we go through all of these areas that have been mentioned, they all speak to ensuring that we have better ports, more efficient and competitive ports that speak to our needs,” Adeniyi concluded.
Source: The Punch