Port Congestion : Customs Inaugurates Committee on Disposal of Overtime Cargo

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Port Congestion :
Customs Inaugurates Committee on Disposal of Overtime Cargo

The Comptroller-General of Customs, CGC Bashir Adewale Adeniyi MFR, has officially inaugurated a committee on Disposal of Overtime Cargo. The Committee was inaugurated
on November 8, 2023, at Nigeria Customs Service Headquarters in Abuja.

This latest development is in line with the new Customs Act, which empowers the Service to disposeĀ  containers that have exceeded their allotted time in the ports.

CGC Adeniyi emphasised that alleviating port congestion stands as a paramount objective for Customs, as well as President Ahmed Bola Tinubu, offering the promise of heightened efficiency and enhanced trade facilitation.

He informed : “It’s worth noting that approximately six months ago, the new NCS Act received the former President Mohammed Buhari’s signature, ushering in substantial modifications to the previous protocols governing the disposal of overtime cargo.

“The provision of NCS Act 2023, mandated that the disposal of cargo exceeding its allotted time can only occur through a court order.

“The Act also stipulates that goods must be disposed off through public auction or tender, to be widely publicised in advance through national newspapers, television and the service’s official website”.

In acknowledging the initiative, the General Manager of MD’s office, Nigerian Ports Authority, Durowaiye Ayodele, expressed his relief, highlighting the issue of over 7,000 overtime containers that have remained for years across the ports.

He said : “We have containers that have been there for over ten years, occupying economic space for which we are unable to dispose. So this is a significant relief for our operations. We are delighted that we have reached a point where we can begin to remove some of these lingering containers and overdue cargo from the port”.

In his remarks, Deputy Comptroller General of Customs, in charge of Human Resources Development, Greg Itotoh, affirmed that with the support of the Nigerian Ports Authority, the changes and new procedures will ensure more streamlined trade operations.

The committee is set to be chaired by a senior officer from the Nigeria Customs Service. Its members include representatives from the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, the Federal Ministry of Finance, the Nigerian Police Force, the Department of State Service (DSS), Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), the National Agency for Food, Drugs and Control, a representative of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission andĀ  Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, among others.

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