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Again, group seeks alternative to multiple alerts on cargoes 

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Lagos, Nigeria: entrance to the RoRo port - Nigerian Ports Authority - photo by A.Bartel

Segun Oladipupo

The Advocacy for Maritime Development Association (AMDA)  has lamented the incessant multiple alerts slammed on cargoes already cleared from the port, saying the multiple alerts are inimical to business and economic development of any nation.

Recall that the call for stoppage of multiple alerts on cargoes has been the behest of freight forwarders over time.

The group also decried shortage of Nigeria Customs Service personnel for the escort of fast track and Free Trade Zone consignments.

AMDA expressed the concerns on Friday during a courtesy visit on the  Zonal Coordinator, Zone A, Nigeria Customs Service, Assistant Comptroller General ACG, A. Aremu at the zonal headquarters in Lagos.

President of AMDA, Comrade Segun Alabi maintained that lack of sufficient personnel of the Federal Operations Unit (FOU), A causes delay as same officers assigned to lead cargoes to some places will have to be awaited to lead cargoes to another destination.

He therefore called on the Customs management to find a solution to the dearth of officers.

Alabi further noted that the visit was partly to congratulate ACG on her appointment as the Coordinator of the zone.

The president who was in the company  of some of the executives of the association, also called on the Zonal Coordinator to help address the issue of multiple alerts saying it is killing trade.

While highlighting some of the problems affecting members of the group in port operations before the customs boss,  he said “Lack of personnel of the FOU to escort fastrack and free trade cargoes is a major challenge to our operations.

“We also want to let you know that lack of scanning  machines is another challenge we are facing in the ports in Lagos.

“Especially at APM. Terminals Apapa, we need scanners to facilitate trade. There is a lot of congestion in that terminal due to lack of scanners.

“We are appealing for management of the service to deploy scanners to these terminals for faster clearance of cargoes.

Continuing, Alabi alleged that: “AP Moller Apapa is taking the advantage of lack of scanners to delay consignments at port but if the customs can provide those equipment on time, then we will  know what their next line of excuses will be.”

Alabi maintained during the era of scanners at the ports, 60% of consignments were scanned after few days of arrival of the vessel but as we speak, once a container is on yellow; automatically it is subjected to 100% physical examination.

Responding, ACG Aremu called on freight agents to ensure 100%  genuine declaration of their cargoes.

She  reiterated that compliance on the part of the shippers and freight agents was key in the line of cargo clearance processes and procedures.

ACG Aremu also disclosed that the service is set to deploy some of the newly recruited 3,000 junior officers to various customs units and  formations in filling the existing shortage of personnel.

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