The Minister of State for Transportation, Sen. Gbemisola Saraki has said that for maritime trade to be efficient in the country, Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) need to work on some bottleneck affecting maritime businesses especially at the ports.
Saraki stated this at the ongoing 2020 Ministerial Retreat in Lagos.
She said that the activities of Customs was affecting Port efficiency which has made alot of neighbouring countries transport their goods through Benin Republic, adding that for Nigerian ports to be efficient, the activities of NCS needs to be addressed, while the Apapa greed lock is eliminated.
The Minister, however said that NPA, NIMASA and NSC must collaborate to ensure synergy in such a way that the country ports environment can be made conducive for trading activities to thrive.
“Nigeria has lost cargoes to our neighbouring countries especially Cote d’voire and Benin Republic. One of the major problems we are having within the maritime industry especially within the ports, is the issue of Customs in other to have efficiency in our ports.
“In other to encourage Nigerians and others to use the ports, we need to synergies with ministry of transport, other agencies and Customs because Customs has proven itself to be an hindrance to the development of Maritime sector.
“Reason, I read somewhere when Customs said they made a trillion Naira, the question we should be asking is at what cost did they make the one trillion Naira?
” Because we cannot have an efficient Port system which includes the minute I ship my goods out through Nigeria, Niger Republic need to be using Nigeria Ports to import their goods but they don’t, we are more closer to them than Togo, we cannot compete with Togo and Benin Republic because we are not efficient.
“We are not efficient because we are holding containers, Customs is still disturbing importers, NIMASA, NPA, NSC are facilitators of trade, the more efficient the three agencies are mentioned are, the more higher the revenue will be for the government. “
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