The Nigeria Customs Service has inaugurated a committee to speed up the decongestion of overcrowded ports burdened by overtime cargo.
The Comptroller-General of Customs, Adewale Adeniyi, inaugurated the Disposal of Overtime Cargo Committee on Wednesday, November 8, at the NCS Headquarters in Abuja.
This was revealed in a statement posted on the official X handle of the NCS on Thursday.
According to the statement, the development arises in response to the new Customs Act which empowers the NCS to dispose of containers that have exceeded their allotted time within the ports.
Adeniyi emphasized that port decongestion is a paramount objective of the NCS and President Bola Tinubu, promising heightened efficiency and enhanced trade facilitation.
According to him, the provision of the NCS Act 2023 mandates that the disposal of cargo exceeding its allotted time can now only occur through a court order.
He said, “It’s worth noting that approximately six months ago, the new NCS Act received former President Muhammadu Buhari’s signature, ushering in substantial modifications to the previous protocols governing the disposal of overtime cargo.
“The Act also stipulates that goods must be disposed of through public auction or tender, to be widely publicised in advance through national newspapers, television, and the service’s official website.”
The General Manager of the Managing Director’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 10 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.”
Credit: X| CustomsNG