The Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Bashir Adewale Adewale has further deepened the collaboration between the Nigeria Customs Service and the Nigerian Ports Authority.
The CGC visited the MD of NPA, Mohammed Bello-Koko, on Thursday, January 25, 2024, to explore areas of improving port efficiency to facilitate trade.
According to the CGC, much is happening regarding collaboration between the NCS and the NPA.
In his words, “NPA desires to achieve port efficiency, and we believe that in customs, Ports efficiency will help to facilitate trade. NPA, in all its programs, tries to improve the competitiveness of our Ports, and this aligns with our vision”.
“We want to make our Ports more efficient. When our Ports are more efficient, it will translate into better efforts in revenue generation. So anything and everything that will help to reduce the time and the cost it takes to conduct business in our ports are those things that we are going to be exploring in collaboration with NPA”. He stated.
On streamlining cargo clearance processes to avoid delays at the port, the CGC said, “If we want to make the port more competitive, more efficient, then we have to deploy technology, the use of scanner is an example, if we deploy scanner to examine goods, rather than subject them to hundred percent examination, that’s one way to make them faster and more efficient.”
“We are building our risk management. We are expanding fast track; we are going to get into AEO in the first quarter of this year so that more of our companies will not have their containers subjected to a hundred percent examination”. He emphasized.
On his part, the MD NPA, Mohammed Bello-Koko, commended the CGC for his prompt response to issues.
He said, “The CG of Customs has been quite supportive in ensuring that we improve trade facilitation to make the Ports more competitive and also ensure that the cost of doing business in the Ports is reduced.
“He has worked with us to see that the export desk that was set up is actually functioning properly. And we have seen a great increase, a spike in the quantity of cargo in terms of exports”.
On improving cargo clearance, the MD noted that all hands must be on deck to ensure 24-hour Port operation.
“We need to be able to clear cargo as quickly as possible. So, we have discussed the issue of 24-hour Port operation”,
“where we need customs Officers to work on shift. That way, you can have cargo clearing and cargo discharge and other things into the next 24 hours”. He said.
“But for them to do that, it means you need the shipping lines. You also need the terminal operators and security and everybody needs to actually be on their toes and work 24 hours”. He concluded.