Seamless Port Operations : Stakeholders Outline Way Forward

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The Association of Nigeria License Customs Agent (ANLCA) has explained ways to achieve a seamless Port Operations for smooth cargo clearance in the Maritime sector.

The National President of the Association Honorable Tony Iju Nwabunike made known of the various ways a seamless Port operations can be achieved amist the factors working against it

Representing the National President on Friday at the annual conference of the Association of Maritime Journalists of Nigeria (AMJON), held at Sheraton hotel, Ikeja Lagos, the National Vice President , Dr Kayode Farinto in a paper presentation “The Role of Customs Brokers in Seamless Port Operations in Nigeria”.disclosed that a lot of factors are militating against seamless port operations even though the federal government are putting measures in place to rejuvenate the port industry for seamless operations like what obtains in other climes.

Commending the acting Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Bello Koko Mohammed, for his efforts so far in clearing bottlenecks around the Lagos ports and its environs, he noted that “there are a lot of factors militating against the maritime industry in Nigeria, including “Lack of infrastructure like scanners to speed up cargo examination by Customs and other Government Agencies.

“Numerous agencies of governments at the seaport carrying out similar functions. Perennial traffic gridlock hindering easy access to the seaport. Poor road network within the port vicinity”.

Others, according to him, are lack of functional railway system for immediate evacuation of containers out of the port, activities of miscreants within the port corridors, and corruption and sabotage in the system.

He however hinted that seamless Port operations only if Government could provide scanners and modern facilities to fast track cargo examination while activities of government agencies at the seaport be streamlined, to reduce the number of agencies performing similar functions within the same port.

He added that Government and traffic managers should address lingering traffic gridlock at port access roads and tackle the issue of poor road network within the port vicinity.

Hinting forward, Farinto said “Government should provide functional railway system for immediate evacuation of containers out of the ports, while law enforcement agents should curb criminal activities of hoodlums within the port corridors.

” Issues of corruption and misappropriation of public funds in the system must be checked, while government should give Customs Brokers incentives for their contributions to huge revenue generation through payments of import duties and other charges for cargo clearance. For instance, government can give Customs Brokers 2% of revenue collection every month to expand their operations and stay afloat in business.In the same vein, government should give bailout to Customs Brokers who lost their investments to the ravaging effects of COVID-19 pandemic and the lock-down” he said.

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