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FG, Agents In War Of Words

The management of the Nigeria Customs Service and some clearing agencies have begun exchanging accusations days after the minister of transportation, Mu’azu Sambo, voiced concerns about overtime cargoes at eastern ports.Information Guide Nigeria

The agency has labelled importers who are unable to brashly pass their cargoes as criminals, despite the agents accusing the NCS of imposing restrictions that impede trade.

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Recall that Sambo had warned stakeholders during a facilities tour of Port Harcourt’s eastern ports over the weekend that the problem of overtime cargoes was concerning and that the NCS management ought to be able to resolve it.

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The impacted commodities, according to the minister, were taking up valuable space and had a detrimental influence on port earnings. The minister further emphasised that some of the cargoes may have expired and posed a serious risk of exploding at the ports.

Stanley Ezenga, secretary of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders, said in an exclusive interview with The PUNCH on Monday that the policies in effect were frequently different from those importers would encounter when their goods arrived in Nigeria, which had an impact on their plans.
He indicated that the grace period would have passed by the time importers began rearrangement.JAMB Result

Any importer could not bring in a shipment and leave it at the port, according to Ezenga.

“No shipper will like to import goods and abandon it inside the port. The proliferation of overtime cargoes is as a result of government policies. The government is inconsistent. What you know before you bring in goods would be different from what you meet on ground when the goods arrive in Nigeria. It throws the importer off balance. Now, in order to strategise and probably raise the funds to clear the cargoes, the stipulated grace time would have elapsed and before you know, it is an overtime cargo. So that is what causes overtime cargoes. It is not that an importer will deliberately allow his cargos to just be at the port.

According to him, “The Customs can be blamed on this because they are the ones enforcing the government’s fiscal policy. So, they, in their own wisdom, can advise the ministry under which they operate for a way forward, maybe in terms of some tax rebate on some of those items imported that are lying at the ports. If the policy is friendly, cargo clearance will be better. So, I think bad policies, which are 80 per cent, are actually leading to the abandonment of these cargoes. The other 20 per cent is the error of logistics.”

The trillions of naira spent on fuel subsidies, according to Ben Akabueze, Director General of the Nigerian Budget Office, might be invested in other creative industries, particularly education.

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Akabueze claimed that the money may be utilised to end the Academic Staff Union of Universities strike and raise government employees’ salary on Arise TV’s Global Business Report.

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Emediong Silver

Emediong Ekpe is a graduate of English. A professional Sports journalist/analyst, and a spoken word artist. He is passionate about decimating information and putting smiles on people's faces via news writing.

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