Lagos, Dec. 16, 2023: The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) says it will laise with the Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Mr Adegboyega Oyetola, on barging as a regulatory function rather than a revenue thing.
Comptroller Dera Nnadi, in charge of Tincan Island Command of NCS, said this at the Comptroller General of Customs (CGC) annual conference on Friday in Lagos.
A barge is a boat with flat bottom developed for transporting goods through the rivers and canals that large vessels cannot go through.
Nnadi said the main idea of going into barging for cargo evacuation was to ease traffic on the road for vehicles.
On the concerns at the port, Nnadi said there was the need for stakeholders in the maritime industry to be selfless and truthful to the government in pushing out the right policy.
“Cargo integrity is very important, there are inconsistencies in export document, issues of concealment, undervaluation, issue of scanning which is a global trend for trade facilitation.
“90 per cent of stakeholders do not want to use scanners because cargo integrity is compromised and this results to delay.
“For terminal operators, they have issue with equipment but with good planning this can be achieved.
“For cargoes that are homogenous, if some are examined without infractions, others can be released,” he said.
Nnadi said the command had instituted weekend work to ease cargo evacuation.
He, however, lamented that both customs officials and stakeholders due come to work late.
He said that to ensure 24 hours work operate there should be an enabling environment in form of security and lightening and this should be provided by the Nigerian Ports Authority.
He urged shipping companies to stop the re-routing of containers to designations not meant for it as this causes delay in trade.
Earlier, Comptroller General of Customs, Mr Adewale Adeniyi, said the service would set in motion machinery that would be used to solve issues facing trade facilitation.
Adeniyi said the forum should be a regular thing to help customs brainstorm with stakeholders for enhanced growth and development.
“We exist as an organisation because of our stakeholders and the strategic importance of Lagos, because if Lagos sneezes, others will catch cold.
“So, as equal partners, we should come around often and talk around those things that will make our relationship better.
“I have been abreast of the number of places where the shoe pinches you, the list given to me may not be exhausted today but we will dwell on most of them,” he said.