…urge NCS to develop a speedy strategy of auctioning containers after 45 days
By Levinus Nwabughiogu-Abuja
Worried by the persistent congestions within the nation’s ports particularly the Apapa and Tin Can Ports in Lagos, the House of Representatives, Tuesday, mandated its Committee on Customs and Excise to hold out a complete investigation into the causes and discover short-term, medium-term, and long-term options to the issue.
The House additionally urged the Nigeria Customs Service, NSC, to develop a speedy strategy of auctioning containers which might be over 45 days on the Port to make the Ports extra aggressive with these of the neighbouring nations.
The persistent congestion is reportedly answerable for the Apapa gridlock.
The House decision was sequel to a movement titled “Urgent Need to Proffer Solution to the Persistent Congestion at Nigeria Ports” moved by Hon. Mukhtar Ahmed at Tuesday plenary.
In his movement earlier, Ahmed famous that out of the six (6) Ports in Nigeria, the Apapa and Tin Can Ports collectively dealt with about 80% of the nation’s complete imports.
He mentioned that different Ports have been working far beneath capability as they collectively deal with solely 20% of the entire cargo quantity.
He mentioned “The two Lagos Ports have been bedevilled by excruciating congestions which are adversely impacting on the ease of doing business, thus leading to loss of revenues to the country;
“The House is also concerned that obsolete clearing methods, abandonment of containers by importers, lack of automation of clearing, high terminal charges, exorbitant demurrage charges, absence of call-up system, cumbersome and multiple clearing procedures, corrupt and other sharp practices have not helped the present congestions which have so far defied all solutions.
“Apapa Port, Tin Can Island Port, Onne Port and other Ports are presently harbouring nothing less than 8,000 containers which have remained uncleared, including those at Customs
Warehouses which are not auctioned”, he mentioned.
The lawmaker additionally expressed fear that the statutory strategy of decongestion by means of public sale gross sales has not helped a lot because of the gradual tempo of Nigeria’s administration of justice in condemning the seizures offered by the Nigeria Customs Service
“The above scenario has caused the diversion of cargoes from Nigeria to her coastal neighbours like the Benin Republic and Togo, thereby leading to loss of huge businesses and revenues running into hundreds of billions of dollars.
“Unless drastic action is taken to address the situation, the problem may soon become intractable”, Ahmed mentioned.
Adopting the movement after acquiring a beneficial majority vote, the House gave the Committee 3 weeks inside which to conclude the project and report again for additional legislative motion.
Vanguard News Nigeria