Customs not liable for moving overtime cargoes to Ikorodu – Malanta
The Apapa Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has said that the transfer of overtime cargoes from the ports to the government warehouse in Ikorodu, Lagos is not the responsibility of Customs but that of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).
Yusuf Malanta, Area Controller of the Command, who disclosed this when he received the executive members of the Shipping Correspondent Association of Nigeria (SCAN) in his office at the weekend, said container transfer cost requires a lot in logistics and financial commitment.
According to him, there are currently about 500 overtime containers -cargoes that have stayed in the port for 28 days or more- at the Apapa port, and it will cost an average of N600, 000 amounting N300 million to move the containers from the port to Ikorodu.
Malanta said auctioning is the way out but there are laid down procedures for auctioning overtime cargoes to avoid litigation.
On the procedure, he said: “Customs will receive unclaimed cargo lists from the shipping companies while the terminal operator will examine those unclaimed cargo lists after the free storage period. After examination, the cargo will be left for a certain number of days for importers to still claim them. After which they will send them for gazetting in the court to avoid litigation before auctioning.
To auction, he said, people bid online for the items while the consumables go to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) through a presidential committee, not even Customs.
In terms of revenue, Malanta said the command generated over N87 billion in the month of September, adding that it hopes to collect up to N100 billion by year-end.
He attributed the increase in revenue to measures instituted by the command to increase the level of compliance by importers and their agents.
He disclosed that the command has introduced forensic manifest management system to trail declaration through the manifest, and ensure that illicit importations are sieved out.
“The use of barges to move containers, and standard gauge line that is coming up have relieved the system of about 30 percent of containers going out of the port. This means that the supply chain is moving. One hardly see queue at the Apapa Port gate. Once we are releasing, cargo is going out and revenue is coming,” he said.
Malanta added that export through the Apapa port has also increased by over 25 percent within the review period.