The acting Comptroller-General of Customs, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi, has expressed his determination to immediately move to decongest Nigerian seaports.
Adeniyi, who disclosed this during a meeting with the Federal Ministry of Transportation in Abuja, said that the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) would face the decongestion of ports head-on, noting that “the major issue involved in this case will be the problem of congestion at our ports, and we are going to implement measures that will address this matter diligently.”
He appreciated the representatives of the Federal Ministry of Finance for congratulating him on his recent appointment, assuring them of his management’s continued resolve to respect their mutuality in accomplishing a common goal.
He said: “I have always believed that Customs administration should act as a genuine agent for trade facilitation. This is what I have been doing since I started my career.
“It is clear that the Nigerian law has authorised Customs to synergise with security institutions and other agencies of government as a form of collaboration to yield positive results to carry out the business of facilitating trade in the country.”
The Comptroller-General, who intimated the entourage of his plans for the Service, revealed his commitment to prioritising the interest of trade, private sectors and innovative solutions that would address some key issues across the borders.
He also talked about the Nigeria Customs Service Act 2023, which now prohibits traders from stacking cargo and containers at the ports for a long time, stressing that the Service would in obedience to the law facilitate the auction or destroy such items as the case may be to serve as a deterrent.
Speaking earlier, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transportation, Dr. Magdalene Ajani, who led the delegation, briefed Adeniyi on the ministry’s efforts in the area of ports decongestion.
She said that they had succeeded in constituting a powerful committee of members from the NCS, transport ministry and its agencies.
Ajani also disclosed that the overtime cargo disposal committee was working assiduously to implement policies that would decongest the four major ports in the country.
“We are working in different dimensions but the result will be prodigious, after embarking on sensitisation exercise to stakeholders and members of the ports community about the process,” she added.