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Why 8,000 overtime cargoes litter Nigerian ports – Experts

The high rate of abandoned overtime shipments at the countrys seaports has been attributed, in part, to inconsistent and poor procedures, according to experts.Infomation Guide Nigeria

According to research, there are currently over 8,000 stranded overtime cargoes, worth about N3 trillion, strewn throughout the nation’s three main seaports in Apapa, Tin Can, and Onne. Onne is home to about 2000 abandoned ships, with the remaining ships being split between Apapa and TinCan Island harbours.

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Cargoes are classified as overtime under the Customs Excise and Management Act if the importer fails to clear and take delivery of them after 28 days in the port.

Following 90 days from port arrival, the legislation permits Customs to auction such shipments. Despite spending at least three years at the ports, the cargo has not yet been put up for auction.

Haruna Omolajomo, the general secretary of the Association of Bonded Terminal Operators of Nigeria, responded to this by blaming the lack of scanners at the ports as another factor contributing to overtime cargoes at the ports in an exclusive interview with The PUNCH on Monday.

“The issue of overtime cargoes can be addressed in the following ways. First, the Customs should put all the scanners into use. You would recall that there are so many scanners brought to the country that are not put into use.

Second, the Federal Government, through the Customs, should have consistent policies that must be maintained by all commands. Bottlenecks of the target should be removed. You will observe that it is always given to each command. By this, each command would want to do everything possible to exceed the target.”

Jonathan Nicol, vice chairman of Business Action Against Corruption, Integrity Alliance, Lagos, also spoke and criticised the hard operating system for the high rate of overtime cargoes.

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We have a government policy that has collapsed. The government is not helping us. Every year, the government gives the Nigeria Customs targets of N3bn, N4bn, which put the pressure on the Customs to do things they are not supposed to do, which, sometimes, may be unethical.”

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Also speaking a member of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders, Stanley Ezenga, said, There are many reasons why cargoes will overstay at the port. One of them is change in government policies. Assuming you imported when the dollar was N430, the small change to what it is today might look insignificant but it means a whole lot. It will place an extra burden on the importer, and his inability to pay the duty might lead to the container overstaying.”Jamb Result

Inability to use credit facilities to clear the consignment is one of the difficulties. Overstayed containers may number over 5000 as of this moment in just the Lagos port; most of them are located in government storage facilities in Apapa, Tin Can, and Ikorodu.

Check Jamb Result 
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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. Whatapp: 08088735884

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