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Freight forwarder decries duplication of functions by agencies at ports

The National
Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents (NCMDCLA) PTML branch,
has said that the duplication of functions by government agencies is
responsible for delays in cargo clearance.

The Chairman of NCMDLCA, Mr Ari
Ayuba, stated this in an interview in Lagos.
He said that the application of
automated and manual processing of cargo clearance created room for
duplication, adding that people often interfered with the system.
“It is supposed to be 48 hours
cargo clearance but because of the duplication of duties by the officers,
delays happen.
“The Customs service should work
with the automated system as it applies in other parts of the world.
“Less human interference is
required to ensure that the system works effectively and by now, the process
should have been faster and easier,’’ Ayuba said..
He urged customs agents to avail
themselves of training in order to understand better the technicalities
“That is why it is important for
agents to know the tariff and classification well so that the customs do not
catch in on your ignorance when they should be trade facilitators,’’ the
freight forwarder said.
Ayuba also suggested that the
Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Alli, should address the issue of
officers raising Debit Notes (DNs) for agents after a container had left the
customs system.
“You will go to the gate thinking
your container is about coming out; somebody at the gate will just hold your
document that you did not pay very well,’’ he said.
Ayuba said these were some of the
reasons why doing business in Nigerian ports had become more expensive.
According to him, the terminal
operator will collect his money for the extra days the cargo stays.
He said delays dragging up to
three to four days could cause an agent as much as N4 million demurrage,
payable to the terminal operator.
Ayuba said this had resulted into
many containers uncleared at the ports.

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