The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) have renewed the agreement to continue to work together in order to boost exports and facilitate trade at the port.
The agreement renewal was reached in Abuja on Monday when Mohammed Bello-Koko, managing director of the NPA visited Adewale Adeniyi, the acting comptroller general of Customs at the Nigeria Customs Headquarters in Abuja.
The meeting focused on how to ease export processing by eliminating all procedural bottlenecks that constitute delays and affect the competitiveness of Nigerian goods in the international marketplace, especially agro-allied products.
Bello-Koko sought the support of the Customs boss to upgrade facilities at the Ikorodu Lighter Terminal and to decongest Lagos ports.
According to him, once Lagos ports are decongested, the facilities will attract higher patronage. He also called for synergy among the various Customs units to enhance the speedy passage of cleared consignment at the terminal.
He expressed worries over the congestion at the port, which, according to him, makes it difficult for the Authority to operate properly.
Commending the NPA for creating Export Processing Terminals (EPTs) which have advanced the fortunes of export, Adeniyi assured that the Customs is finalising efforts at streamlining the multiplicity of Customs units and checkpoints, evacuation of overtime cargo from the ports, speedy relocation of the Customs facility standing on the rail link of Apapa Ports and resolving all challenges to pave way for the optimisation of Ikorodu Lighter Terminal.
Given that the balance of trade is crucial to strengthening the value of the Naira, this renewed collaboration between the Nigerian Ports Authority and the Nigeria Customs will add fresh impetus to the efforts of President Bola Tinubu at growing the national economy.