The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Tin-Can Island Port Command, said it has beefed up its trade facilitation process with the deployment of ‘Time Release Study Tool’, which determines the actual time of release and clearance of goods, right from the time of arrival to physical release from Customs.
Time Release Study (TRS) is a strategic tool that is capable of identifying bottlenecks in the trade value chain and creating an enabling environment for effectiveness and efficiency in operations.
With the deployment of this tool, the command said, it was able to collect a total of 117,839,418,332.16 from January to April 2020, despite the outbreak of coronavirus, a global pandemic that has posed serious challenges to both health system and the business community.
The total revenue is 11,194,774,414.91 more than the sum of 106,644,643,917.25 generated same period in 2019, said a statement signed by Uche Ejesieme, public relations officer of the Command.
According to the statement, Musa Abdullahi, Customs Area Controller of the Command said in a recent chat with some stakeholders in his office that at the onset of this pandemic when pressure, anxiety and general apprehension was the order of the day, the Command demonstrated resilience, sagacity and compassion in its approach to the novel pandemic, such that tension was reduced from the psyche of port users.
“With this pandemic, the Command will upscale her sensitisation on the need for Nigerians to fully take advantage of the operations in export trade, especially at this moment when it has become compelling for diversification of the economy for national development,” he stated.
According to him, Nigerians need to cease the opportunities inherent in the numerous incentives by the Federal Government in the area of export, to draw and attract the consciousness of Nigerians to the advantages in export trade.
“With the Time Release Study Tool, we have generated statistical data on the actual time declarations were made up till the time of release from Customs Control. It was on the basis of this, that the Command realised that the Nigeria Customs Service is only involved in two major functions in the trade value chain (examination and release of cargo),” Abdullahi stated.
He further assured that the Command will work assiduously towards ensuring that all operational bottlenecks are removed from the value chain, for effectiveness and efficiency in accordance with global standards.
“The Command will continue to support and encourage the culture of compliance with fiscal and monetary policies, while also rewarding compliant traders. We have developed a framework and different layers for channeling of official complaints, including the help desk for speedy resolution of trade disputes,” he added.
While applauding heads of security and regulatory agencies in the port for their consistent support for the Command in realising its statutory mandate, he added that the Command would create a friendly business environment that would encourage trade and investments.
On issues bothering on challenges of Covid-19, the CAC reiterated the readiness of the Command to ensure adherence with the protocols put in place by Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) towards containing the spread of the virus.
Shippers’ Council sensitises truckers on COVID-19, gives out PPEs
The Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) said it has completed the first phase of its Coronavirus (COVID-19) sensitisation programme for the maritime community.
The 3-day programme which started on Wednesday 13th and ended on Friday 16th May, 2020, kicked off at the Council’s headquarters with Hassan Bello, executive secretary/CEO joined by the Council’s Directors of Regulatory Services and Consumer Affairs, Ifeoma Ezedinma and Cajetan Agu respectively, presenting hand gloves, sanitizers and masks to the leaders of seven trucking associations that attended the programme.
According to statement signed by Rakiya Zubairu, head, Public Relations, Bello said NSC considered it part of its responsibility to ensure the safety of truckers as they are silent facilitators of Nigeria’s economy.
He commended them for their cooperation in acceding to NSC’s request to reduce their fees during the period of the lockdown in Lagos alongside Ogun State and Abuja to contain the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Bello, who said that truckers are primarily responsible for their own well-being, urged them to do everything to stay safe as their families and the nation need them.
Responding on behalf of the trucking associations, Stephen Okafor, coordinator of Committee of Maritime Truck Unions & Associations (COMTUA), commended the management of the Council and assured of the members cooperation in resetting Nigeria’s post COVID-19 economy.
The sensitisation programme then moved to the terminals and shipping companies where Moji Ayorinde, hygienist of the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), under the direction of Everistus Aniaku, head of emergency operations and National Response Team on COVID-19 in Lagos State, gave talks on how to protect oneself from contracting COVID-19.
She demonstrated the correct method to wear a mask, hand washing, hand sanitizing and physical distancing among others.
Over 100 stakeholders attended this first phase of the programme including freight forwarders and staff of shipping companies and terminals. Participants received masks and sanitizers courtesy of Nigerian Shippers’ Council.