Nigerian Port Authority is in dialogue with Nigeria Customs Service to chart a way forward for the propose 24 hours operation at the Ports. The managements of the federal Agency are currently in talks and meeting over the 24 hours cargo clearance operations for the introduction of the Single Window policy. Speaking in Lagos, Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority, Mr. Mohammed Bello-Koko said that both agency are engaged over the issue of 24 hours port operations with a view to making the port more efficient and cost effective. Bello-Koko also said that this issue of 24 hours port operation could be achieved if Customs can commence the shift system of work. Bello-Koko also called for a quicker auction process of seized or overtime cargoes with a view to decongestion the ports.
He said that with 24 hours port operations, NPA will be able to have cargoes released within the time frame in all its port locations. He said “We have had stakeholder engagement where we talked about the need to have 24-hour pot operations and the need for us to have shifts. We have seen that that instruction has been given. A few ports have started implementing that. But we require that you make it a policy and send out a circular that will ensure that officers are on seat when they are supposed to be. And that way we Will be able to have cargo release and so on and so forth 24 hours at all pot locations. But so far we have seen that action has been taken and we appreciate that. But we just want it to be formalised adequately and sent to all locations. That will help us reduce the time it takes to release cargo from the pots. We have raised the issue of export with you. We have seen a tremendous increase in percentage and quantity of export cargo. And we appreciate that.
Similarly, the Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Mr. Adewale Adeniyi said that the agency was ready to deepened the already existing relations with the NPA adding that bigger cooperation between both agencies will translate to a better facilitation of trade that will bring about a more efficient port system that will better grow the economy. Adeniyi also said that any desire to make Nigerian ports more competitive will be supported by the management of Nigeria Customs Service. He said “there is a lot going for us in terms of collaboration between the Customs and the Port Authority. So my visit today, first, is to renew our friendship. Second, is to deepen the relationship between us. And third, through the projects that we want to launch, we want to see how we can strengthen the collaboration and the cooperation that has been existing between the Nigeria Customs Service, and the Nigerian Port Authority.
“What are the projected outcome of this kind of collaboration? They are very simple. And it is something of vision alignment. NPA desires to achieve port efficiency. And we believe that in Customs, port efficiency would help to facilitate trade. NPA, through all its programs, is trying to promote the competitiveness of our ports. This aligns with our vision, because many Nigerians are diverting their things across the neighbouring ports. And we must do everything to ensure that our ports remain competitive, so that our cargo and the economy is driven by our ports. And finally, we want to make our ports more efficient. When our ports are more efficient, it will translate into better efforts in revenue. So, anything and everything that will help to reduce the time and the costs it takes to conduct business in our ports are those things that we are going to be exploring in the collaboration with NPA. And I’m happy that you have mentioned all of them. And if you go through all of these areas that you have mentioned, they all speak to ensuring that we have a better future. We have better ports, more efficient ports, more competitive ports, and ports that speak to our needs.”