The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) have pledged to work together to deepen trade facilitation and drive exports as part of measures to support the federal government's economic diversification effort.
They made the pledge on Thursday when the Comptroller General of the NCS, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi led members of his management team to NPA’s headquarters, Lagos.
Doing so, they stated, will improve Nigeria’s export earnings and facilitation of export cargoes onboard ocean going vessels.
Speaking, the Managing Director of NPA, Mohammed Belo-Koko said there is a need to streamline export desks to make facilitation of cargoes onboard vessels seamless.
The NPA boss, however, frowned at situation where Export Processing Terminals (EPTs) report to export desk at the seaports.
“We have raised the issue of export. We have seen a tremendous increase in percentage and quantity of export cargo and we appreciate that but, we still have a little problem because we have an issue of multiple export desks.
“The first time we met, I raised the need to find a way to partner 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.
Speaking further, Bello-Koko, urged the Customs CG to include the authority as part of agencies of government that would benefit from the proceeds of auctioning of overtime cargoes at the ports.
According to him, the authority expended huge funds in moving the overtime cargoes from the seaports to the Ikorodu terminal.
“On the issue of overtime cargo, the committee was set up where Nigerian Customs led and an assessment has been done. Everyone has gone round the port and we know the impact of overtime cargo on the activities of terminal operators. It has occupied a lot of economic space and it’s creating difficulty in clearing cargo because there isn’t space," he uttered.