Decongestion Of Lagos Seaports: NCS Calls For Full Use Of Barges To Move Cargoes Out Of The State

•By Raheem Ibrahim

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has called for full implementation of using barges to move cargoes out of Lagos ports toharped on the need to further decongest the Lagos seaports through maximizing the use of barges for cargo movement.

The NCS emphasized that despite the recent success being experience on the free flow of articulated vehicles along the port corridor, the full use of badges to move cargoes out of Lagos State to maximize free flow of traffic.

The Comptroller General of Customs, Mr. Adewale Adeniyi who made the call at the 4th JournalNG Port Industry Town Hall meeting with theme “The Imperative of Port Community System (PCS) for Integration of all players in Nigerian Port System reiterated that barging activities should be more regulatory services based rather than revenue, noting that safety of cargoes are more importance to monies collected by port operators and service providers.

Represented by the Area Controller, Tin Can Island Command , Nigeria Customs Service, Comptroller Dera Nnadi at the occasion, the CGC Adeniyi stressed the need for the review of barge operations and movement of cargoes via the waterways , as part of measures to boost trade facilitation and safety of goods.

Noting that port community service should be the cardinal point of all stakeholders in the maritime industry despite the current free flow of vehicular movement along port corridors in Apapa, he explained that the importance of a port community system will enhance physical inspection of cargoes , deployment and upgrade of software system in port operations and cargo clearance.

In his paper titled, “Nigeria Customs Service ‘Enhancing Integration and Efficiency in Nigerian Port through the Nigeria Customs Service’, presented by CSC Nnadi stressed further, “The Nigeria Customs Service pioneered the movement of cargoes through the waterways. Just three months ago after clearing the roads, the service revive the use of barges”.

According to him, “Barge operators are critical stakeholders in port community and movement of barges has become part of the system. The evacuation of cargoes through the movement of barges should be reviewed by maximizing waterways transportation in Nigeria”.

He added that emphasis should be based on regulatory through safety precautions rather than revenue, saying “Customs is in the heart of operations with government revenue generation and Lagos Ports generate 70% total revenue for the government, therefore cargo movement must be seamless”.

He also called for a robust inclusion all relevant stakeholders and their low ranking operational officers to achieve improved efficiency to ensure the effective implementation of submissions reached at port stakeholders summits.

He reasoned that the functionality of the Port Community System (PCS) will not be realized in a port environment characterized by disunity and conflicts which arise from the misunderstandings among tactical low cadre officers, stressing that some challenges within the PCS and the application of innovative trends at ports are linked to confused tactical officials of security agencies

According to him, “Capacity building and sensitization should also include the officials at the rank and file. You would find that PCS is well understood by the elite operators and officers; but at the tactical level there isn’t this high-level understanding. This confusion leads to conflicts between these security agencies and operators”

Adeniyi who lamented that Nigeria has a poor culture for collating data, suggested that the historical inadequacies of policymaking and planning have been results of incomprehensive data in Nigeria.

He equally commended the federal government for approving the domiciling of a National Single Window in the Ministry of Interior, noting that the Customs NICIS II system has other agencies and stakeholders but still needed to link more players in the port industry. Webb Fontaine Partners ‘Elon Musk’s’, Starlink To Boost Internet Connectivity To Ease Port Operations

Raheem Ibrahim.

In the efforts to increase port efficiency through using faster and reliable internet connectivity, the Managing Director of Webb Fontaine Nigeria Limited, Ope Babalola disclosed that his company has begun moves to partner Starlink owned by Elon Musk to ease port operation.

While delivering a paper on the Port Community System (PCS) at the occasion organized by JournalNG in Lagos on Thursday, Babalola disclosed that efforts are on to improve on port users experience with the server of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).

According to him, ” my company enjoys a cordial and robust relationship with the NCS and has always been committed in working for the success of the customs through revenue collection and prevention of loses”.

While lauding President Bola Tinubu’s moves to establish a National Single Window (NSW) as a laudable step that will benefit the country in many ways, he added that the PCS can run under the single window conveniently targeting port users primarily with a view to achieving better inclusion of all stakeholders in the environment.

Babalola called on stakeholders to support the PCS initiative in furtherance to boost port operations, even as he emphasized on regularly town hall meeting that will aid trade facilitation and seamless cargo clearance.

While soliciting for balance of trade, the Webb Fortaine boss affirmed that exporters should be encouraged to facilitate trade through seamless operations for cargo movement.

He said, “Nigeria has so much trade data but we are not using it. Therefore there should be seamless collaboration between NPA and customs to promote the Port Community System PCS. This town hall meeting should be regulate to create more awareness about what it’s all about.

Earlier, the Chairman of the event ,Mr. Lucky Amiwero called on the service provider Webb Fortaine to up the ante on its server for effective and smooth cargo clearance.

Amiwero who is the President, National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents ( NCMDLCA) appealed to management of the Nigeria Customs Service to capitalise on training and retraining of officers on cargo clearance procedures and clearance.

He also stressed the need for both the customs and Nigerian Ports Authority NPA to collaborate as part of measures to promote seamless trade.


7 People Escape Death As Twins 3-Storey Buildings Collapse In Lagos Island.

Raheem Ibrahim.

Seven people were rescued on Thursday morning from a twins collapsed buildings at Isale Eko area of Lagos Island.

Eye witness revealed to our correspondent that the twins buildings situated at Upper King Street by Shasore street collapsed on Thursday morning while renovation was being carried out in one of the structures.

It was reliably gathered that the government had already marked the buildings for demolition recently and the occupants were asked to vacate the premises for full renovation.

According to source, “Occupants of the first building had already moved out and the developer has commenced the renovation when the incident occurred at about 11.35am”.

“It was while the workers are trying to pull down a part of the building that the second one was affected and the whole twins 3-storey came down.

“Meanwhile, some tenants in the second building are hesitating to move out, saying that the developer can carry out the renovation while they are still leaving there”, the source disclosed.

He revealed further that some of the occupants had gone out while only seven at home were affected when the incident occurred.

“Immediately it happened, some areaboys along with the workers started digging the rubbles and were able to rescue the seven people trapped inside alive but with little injuries”, he said.

He added that the exercise was easy for the areaboys through the use of phone to call the trapped people to determine their locations one after the other.

“This is another opportunity for the State government to look inward on Isale Eko area to start pulling down all defected buildings in the area”, he remarked.

Our correspondent could not reach the State government officials and the Oba of Lagos for comments on the incident but people around have been speculating that all weak buildings in the area will not be spare.

Occupants of some buildings that have been marked by the government were seen packing out their belongings as at the time of filing this report.

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