The Customs Area Controller, in-charge of apapa area 1 command, Comptroller Abubakar Bashir has disclosed that its strict enforcement of extant laws halted the export of over 2,000 containers laden with various kinds of export goods. It disclosed that the containers held at the Lagos Ports Complex (LPC), will not leave the country until the shippers (exporters) carry out proper documentation on them.
Abubakar Bashir made this known when the executives of Association of Maritime Journalists of Nigeria (AMJON) paid him a courtesy visit in office
Comptroller Bashir said that Maersk Line reported a case of 2,000 containers of export trapped at the port while another shipping line (name withheld) also confirmed to the service that 200 units of boxes were also affected due to lack of genuine documents.
According to the customs boss, the consignments are designated for export but improper documentation has hindered the processes of shipment.
He also noted that a private inspection agency has been invited on the best way out in resolving the trapped containers.
While emphasizing on the need to adhere strictly to compliance level, the customs boss added that the service has met with the concessionaires and shipping companies over the burning issue at hand.
He said officer and men of the service operate an open door policy and would always look abide to due diligence as par import and export guidelines.
“Let me start with the problem we have with export today; only one company, and that is Maersk line reported that they have almost 2,000 containers and yesterday when we are in a meeting, another shipping company was talking about 200 containers.
“You know we have quite a number of shipping companies here, others have not reported there own figure but definitely we are looking at about 2,000 containers that are hanging due to lack of proper documentation so far.
“Certainly, what we intend to do as a service is that I have already directed the officer in charges of revenue to call the designated agency appointed by the government to issue CCI certificate for the export and see if we can have a parley with some of the exporters to see if we can give them entry measures to export the items within the scope of compliance.
“We have already set that in motion and I think we shall be meeting tomorrow “he stressed.
Earlier, President of the foremost maritime reporters group, Mr. Paul Ogbuokiri noted that the Apapa command plays critical role in revenue collection for the government and the association will continue to support effort to boost trade facilitation and revenue drive.
He also informed the customs chief about an event that would be organised by the group, saying the command will not be left out as regards customs contributions to nation building.