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Nigerian Shippers’ Council works towards quick cargo clearance at ports

Executive Secretary, NSC, Hassan Bello
The Nigerian Shippers’
Council (NSC) has intensified efforts to ensure that quick cargo clearance is
achieved at the nation’s ports as early as possible, once the freight forwarder
has lodged his entry for the process.

To achieve this,
officials of the Council have been holding meetings with providers of shipping
services, including terminal operators and shipping companies, to ensure that
they introduce both equipment and appropriate digital technology that will
facilitate quick clearance of goods at their terminals.

The Executive
Secretary, Shippers’ Council, Mr Hassan Bello, who acknowledged that there had
been a remarkable improvement on the part of the service providers, including
the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) on the time it takes to clear goods at the
ports, said that quick clearance of goods at the ports would bring about
multiplier effect on the national economy with benefits to both providers and
consumers of shipping services.

Bello said that the
Council as the Economic Regulator was very much concerned about the dwell time
of cargo in the ports, adding that the agency does not want a situation where
goods stay so much in the ports before they are cleared.

The Council boss who
was hosted by the NTA said he was happy for the cooperation his Council has
been receiving from the providers of shipping services, including NPA, the
Customs, terminal operators and shipping companies.

“We are concerned
about the dwell time on cargo. We don’t want cargo to stay very long in the
port. Port is not a place of storage. As soon as cargo comes in, it is cleared.

“We encourage terminal
operators to take their cargo away from the port for examination. We are happy
we are getting cooperation from the Customs, the terminal operators and NPA.

“We commend NPA for
introducing e-commerce which means that payment which used to take five days is
now done in minutes. Many agencies are embracing this. It is our job to ensure
that the ports are efficient”, he said.

Bello pointed out that
through various efforts of the Council and other agencies, there has been a
remarkable improvement in ports efficiency.

For instance, he
disclosed that importers who do not have query on their declarations after
lodgment of entries could clear their goods within three days as against 21
days before.

Similarly, he said the
Council does not want ships bringing goods into the country to be delayed
before leaving the ports.

According to him, the
turnaround time of vessels calling at the ports has improved from 21 days to
3-4 days, adding that this has been possible through the introduction of
appropriate technology in the system.

He said that this type of development would
impact positively on the imports and the general economy as it would attract
more patronage for the country.

“If you look at turnaround time for ships, it
used to be 21 days but now, 3-4 days ships have discharged their cargo and they
are gone. This is because appropriate technology has been introduced at the
terminals…. We audited these terminals and supervised them, and we advised what
they need to do to make Nigerian ports efficient so that many people will use
Nigerian ports”, he said.


He said that at all time, the target of the
Council would be to ensure that Nigerian ports achieve the efficiency level
that is comparable to any international standard.

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