Customs Has Capacity to Scan 200 Containers Daily in Apapa Port – Comptroller Olomu

Customs Area Controller of Apapa Command,Comptroller Babatunde Olomu has said compliant traders who do importation in accordance with the law and pay the required customs duties can receive their cargoes within 24 hours as the command can scan 200 containers daily

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Olomu who said this in Lagos when he received a World Bank delegation and Trade Facilitation Committee led by the Minister of Industries, Trade and Investment, Doris Uzoka-Anite said the Nigeria Customs Service(NCS) is committed to supporting economic development through trade facilitation.

According to him, the NCS is determined to facilitate trade at all times but will always enforce anti smuggling laws while also leveraging on robust stakeholders interactions to support it’s intelligence driven operation.

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He added that the NCS under it’s present CGC, Adewale Adeniyi has significantly impacted on trade facilitation with new programmes that will help those on fast track to migrate to Authoirised Economic Operator(AEO) status

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In line with World Trade Organization (WTO) directive, Olomu said the NCS has also embarked on advance ruling which is intended to quicken the cargo clearance process to strengthen the service Time Release Study programme.

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On digitisation, the Controller said customs modernisation is on track and the command is linked to 50 bonded terminals under it . According to him, the service Nigeria Integrated Customs Information System (NICIS II) platform has integrated other government agencies.

He disclosed that the command has capacity to examine 200 containers daily at an average of three minutes per container

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On joint examination, Olomu said other agencies like National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Standards Organisation of Nigeria(SON), National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) , Nigeria Police, Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS), Department of State Service (DSS) and others upon invitation.

He also told the visiting delegation that Importers are allowed to decide on how their cargoes are freighted from the port either by road, rail or barge. Speaking on tarrif classification, Olomu said advance ruling has been helpful in this regard.

Addressing reporters shortly after the meeting Olomu said “Trade facilitation is key to whatever we are doing in the Nigeria Customs Service and according to the WCO, the trade facilitation is a core of what we do as a service.

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“I have always believed that with trade facilitation, we can leverage on our revenue generation ability because when you facilitate trade, that is when we can talk about generating revenue.We see trade facilitation as a tool towards generation of more revenue for government.

“What we are taking out of thisengagement is that we need to continuously engage other stakeholders, regulatory and security agencies.There is no end to engagement.We can only get better and better .

“APMT are not here to defend themselves and I want to believe that the commitee would meet them and when they meet, I am sure that they will be able to address some of these complaints.It won’t be good to shield a man’s head behind him ” the CAC said.

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Dr Brenda Max-Nduagube who represented Minister of industries Trade and Investment commended the Apapa Command for its trade facilitation efforts and called for sustenance of the feats achieved.

She also sought regular interaction among players in the port system while stating Nigeria stands to gain from such collaboration.

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Leader of the World Bank team, Aleksander Stojanor said the team is in Nigeria to ascertain the level of trade facilitation processes and advise the government on possible ways to improve

Stojanor said their team is going round to interact with government and private sector players in trade adding that his team will be guided by information received.

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