The House of Representatives Committee on Customs has disclosed that, it will summon terminal operators in Nigerian ports over its continuous use of what it called ‘analogue gates’ into their terminals in the ports.
The Deputy Chairman of the Committee, Leke Abejide who said this in a chat with Shipping Position Daily last week in Lagos, also linked alleged corruption in the ports to failure of the terminal operators to install automated gates at their terminals.
Abejide, however reiterated that the government is unaware of the kind of corruption that is going on at the nation’s seaports.
He said:“The problem with the port system is corruption, before you can pass any truck, you have to pay between N200, 000 to N300, 000 per truck and this is a very big and serious problem. It is a big corruption that the government is not even aware of”
“We are going to invite you, the terminal operators and give you ultimatum to automate your gates. If you automate your gates, you don’t need anybody to be collecting money. Once you have the automated ticket you can come in, load your cargoes and go without interference with anybody”, he added.
Abejide also urged shipping lines to ensure that they have their holding bays for receiving empty containers at least 50 kilometers away from the ports.
According to him, “the shipping lines too should have their bay for receiving empty containers 50kilometeres away from the ports. All the trucks that want to come in should come in with a flat body except for export cargos and for those, the ticket should be automated from the shipping line direct to your Terminal Delivery Order (TDO)”.
He assured that the House is going to work towards amending the Customs and Excise Management Ac to be able to tackle some of the problems in the ports and in the cargo clearance procedure.
“So that when you are coming in you come without anybody stopping you. the issue of agencies we are going to look at it and under the CEMA we are going to amend such things to ensure that they do not happen again” he assured.