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Nigeria Customs Service launches committee to clear ports of overtime cargo bottleneck

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Nigeria Customs Service launches committee to clear ports of overtime cargo bottleneck

In an effort to address the congestion and backlog of overtime cargo at Nigeria’s ports, the Comptroller-General of Customs, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi MFR, announced the official launch of a committee on Disposal of Overtime Cargo on November 8, 2023, at the Nigeria Customs Service Headquarters in Abuja.

This initiative comes in response to the new provisions outlined in the Customs Act, empowering the NCS to dispose of containers that have exceeded their designated time within the ports.

CGC Adeniyi emphasized the crucial importance of easing port congestion, aligning with the objectives of the Nigeria Customs Service and President Ahmed Bola Tinubu, with the promise of enhancing efficiency and trade facilitation.

READ ALSO: Customs CG pledges to work with stakeholders for swift cargo clearance at ports

“It’s important to note that approximately six months ago, the new NCS Act, which received former President Mohammed Buhari’s signature, brought about significant modifications to the previous protocols regarding the disposal of overtime cargo,” the CGC stated.

 

 

Under the provisions of the NCS Act 2023, it is mandated that the disposal of cargo that has exceeded its allocated time must now occur through a court order.

“The Act also specifies that goods must be disposed of through public auction or tender, widely publicized in advance through national newspapers, television, and the service’s official website,” CGC explained.

Recognizing the significance of this initiative, Durowaiye Ayodele, General Manager of the MD’s office at the Nigerian Ports Authority, expressed relief and highlighted the challenge of handling over 7,000 overdue containers that have remained for years across the ports.

“We have containers that have been there for over ten years, occupying valuable economic space for which we are unable to dispose. This marks a significant relief for our operations. We are pleased that we have reached a point where we can begin to remove some of these lingering containers and long-overdue cargo from the port,” he stated.

Deputy Comptroller General of Customs, Greg Itotoh, affirmed that with the support of the Nigerian Ports Authority, the implemented changes and new procedures will ensure more efficient trade operations and contribute to streamlined processes.

The newly established committee will be chaired by a senior officer from the Nigeria Customs Service, and its members will include representatives from the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, the Federal Ministry of Finance, the Nigerian Police Force, the Department of State Services (DSS), Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), the National Agency for Food, Drugs and Control, a representative of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, and the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, among others.

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