Customs charged to urgently evacuate overtime cargoes in Lagos ports

A container-laden vessel

• 17 fuel-laden vessels, others waiting to berth 
To decongest the terminals, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), has been urged to urgently evacuate overtime cargoes that litter the seaports in Lagos, even if it means auctioning them.

Cargoes are classified as overtime when they have stayed in the ports for over 30 days without clearance and delivery.

The Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala Usman, gave the charge during a courtesy visit by the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), to NPA headquarters in Lagos.

She said the move has become imperative, as even become imperative, as the Ikorodu Lighter Terminal, where such cargoes are being kept is already congested, and can no longer accommodate them.

She said: “We have asked Customs to auction the cargoes inside the ports as it were, because the Ikorodu warehouse is already full, the last time auction was done was in 2015. We have told the Customs that there is a need to auction cargoes on the spot because the ports are already congested.”

Although auctioning would have grave implications, but stakeholders believe this will create valuable space for efficient port operations.
However, the Customs could not confirm the development, as enquiries sent to its Spokesperson, Joseph Attah, was not responded to.
Recall that The Guardian had reported that thousands of seized vehicles estimated at over N30 billion are currently rotting away at various Customs’ warehouses nationwide, and thereby supports the need for auctioning.

Meanwhile, no fewer than 17 vessels conveying Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), also known as petrol, and other commodities are currently waiting on the Lagos Lagoon pending approval to berth at the seaport.

A Shipping Position released by NPA, Tuesday, revealed that eight of the vessels were carrying petrol, and others general cargo and wheat.

The vessels, mostly tankers, were tagged, CRNAPP, meaning Customs Release Not Applicable (West Coast) due to process delay.

However, about 17 more ships are expected at the Lagos Pilotage District, between now and July 27th, with six of them laden with general cargo, and others conveying petrol, steel, wheat, gypsum and containers.

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