Vehicle Import Booms Again At Tin Can Port Terminals

There are indications that the importation of vehicles through the nation's seaports has increased following an increase in activities at the two major vehicle importation terminals at Tin Can Island Ports. Confirming the increased traffic to Shipping Position Daily at the PTML terminal in Lagos last week, spokesperson of the PTML command of the Nigeria Customs Service;  Mr. Steve Okonmah said that the command is poised to take advantage of the increase to collect all revenues due to the Federal Government.Okonmah confirmed that the car terminals are gradually coming back to life with activities, even as he confirmed improvement in the commands' revenue.Confirming latest trend to our correspondent, he said, "level of cars being cleared at the port has soared, and if there is an increase in the number of vehicles coming into the country, the revenue would definitely increase. The number of vehicles coming has gradually improved, no change takes place so fast, it happens gradually""It would definitely be attributed to the fact that import through the land borders has been banned, the only alternative available now is either airport or through the seaport"Also confirming the increase in level of vehicle importation, at the Tin Can Island Port, a licensed customs agent;  Mr. Jonathan Owoh confirmed that cars that are imported into the country now pay duties unlike before when they are smuggled-in from Cotonou. He said that cars are now coming directly to Nigerian sea ports and minimum duties are being paid.Owoh however lamented that clearing agents and other stakeholders are not smiling yet because those that are shipping in the cars are people living abroad. He lamented that the car dealers in Nigeria still find it difficult to obtain foreign exchange to import vehicles.He urged the Federal Government to make the seaports friendly by ensuring that the duty payable on the used vehicles is reviewed by the customs."The fluctuating exchange rate has left the dealers frustrated because whatever they buy today would have changed price by tomorrow" he saidAlso confirming the latest trend to Shipping Position Daily, Chairman of Port Cabin Complex at Tin Can Port, Chief Chukwuemeka Shedrack said that operators are not smiling yet even though the cars are coming in."Sometimes, the customs server would not work for three days and this contributes to demurrage paid by importer”, he said.