FG charges port terminal operators to work within concessionary rules

•pushes for cargo clearance within 72 hours after berthing

The Federal government has charged the terminal operators at the Apapa port to work within the concessionary rules of the Nigerian government in order to have efficient port services.

Speaking at the weekend in Abuja, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Transportation, Dr Magdalene Ajani said the terminal operators must have the equipment required for port service efficiency.

“Nobody is above the law, we are happy that amongst the portal tax force, we have ICPC, DSS and these are not just people who will see but enforce compliance, so it is a warning to our terminal operators to make sure that they operate within the rules of Nigeria.

“They have the definitions for concessions, they must make sure that the equipment required in the port for efficient port services as per their concessionary requirements are available, they must also make sure that the rules of operation in terms of timeline for berthing of ports, the release of equipment and movement of those containers to where they should be is complied with.

“Nobody is above the law and we are going to ensure that the law works, we are going to ensure that our ports work,” she stated.

The Permanent Secretary commended the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), “I must say a big thank you to customs, we all heard how they have improved in terms of service delivery with digitisation of their process, we are hoping that when they deploy the scanners, we will have a much faster process.

“The immigration needs to buckle up and speed up their processes, digitisation is the way to go. We will encourage that we all digitise our processes and we know that when we do this, we are probably getting to the point where goods coming into Nigeria ports can be cleared within 72 hours” Ajani said.

Also speaking, the Executive Secretary of Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC), Emmanuel Jime solicited the cooperation of other government Agencies at the Port for unhindered service delivery.

“It is highly important that if we are going to attain the objective which is to make sure that our ports are efficient in order for us to take our pride of place as a maritime hub in this sub-region of the continent, we need the agencies that are involved in operating the manual process at the ports to collaborate with each other,” he stated.

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