Apapa Customs transfers containers to avoid port congestion

                                            CAC Eporwei Edike and ACG Victor Gbemudu with other officers during the commissioning of  an  ICT Centre at Apapa Command
The Apapa Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service(NCS) on Wednesday disclosed that it had transferred a number of containers form the Apapa port to smaller ports like Lillypond.
Comptroller Eporwei Edike, Controller in charge of the command, said that the initiative was to enable them clear container backlog that resulted from the strike action that was undertaken  by clearing agents.
“We have been doing massive transfers to Lillypond, in fact, throughout the strike period; we called the APMT to begin to do transfers to other terminals.
 “The oil revenue is dwindling and government attention is focused on Customs duty. So, if we are not working here, they can be working over there.
 “If we are not collecting revenue here, they can be collecting over there. It does not matter who is collecting the revenue because it is one Customs account.
“I am not bothered about the target given to me, what I am bothered about is the national revenue, so, we are fine.
“Even this morning, two vessels were stemmed to Lillypond because here, we get backlog and we just have to clear it up,” he said.
The Controller also said that a memo was sent  to all officers, particularly at the busy terminals that they must begin to work fully during the weekends; Saturday and Sunday.
“No more skeletal weekends, full duties for those days so that we can clear the backlog. We have told them that they must not give anybody any frivolous query; any query issued must be substantiated.
 “This is because once queries are issued and they are not attended to, they can cause delays here and there.
He however said that officers have also been tasked to carry out proper examination in order not to allow some people take advantage of the backlog situation to bring in dangerous items into the country.
“But we have also told officers to properly examine containers, to avoid people take advantage of the rush and want to push in dangerous items like arms and ammunition and drugs.
“So, in spite of the fact that we want to be quick to clear the backlog, we also do not in haste allow dangerous items into the country.

“That memo has been made to the terminals and to APMT, that they should make provisions for some sort of lights that can enable us to do some examinations into the night to clear the backlog,” Edike said.