By Steve Agbota
Clearing agents and freight forwarders have decried over 3, 000 imported vehicles trapped at the Tin-Can Island Ports Complex, Apapa, due to the collapse of the National Vehicle Registration (VReg) platform created by the Federal Ministry of Finance (FMoF) for imported vehicles. The clearing agents lamented the daily rising costs incurred from demurrages arising from several imported vehicles trapped at the various terminals in the port as they unable to clear them over breakdown of Vreg platform. They said that VReg platform, which was created by the Federal Ministry of Finance (FMoF) for imported vehicles in 2021 became mandatory and first prerequisite for any vehicle that must be cleared from the nation’s port has been malfunctioning.
Speaking with Daily Sun, the Public Relations Officer, Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Tin-Can Island chapter, Onome Monije, said agents have not been able to access the Vreg’s platform in the last one week.
He explained that exiting vehicles from the terminals have been a nightmare, adding that vehicles are attracting huge storage and demurrage charges from terminal operators and shipping companies.
“Accessing Vreg platform since last week has been a nightmare as the portal had been down due to server breakdown. The Vreg is for all consignment with chassis/serial number and it is mandatory for us to register with vreg before we can proceed to Customs portal for duty accessment and payment because the Vreg has been integrated with that of Customs platform.
“As a result of the inability to access the Vreg platform, we stay awake in the middle of the night searching for network and sometime it comes up 2am or 3am and whenever there is an amendment it is always difficult to amend mistakes.
However, she pleaded with the FMoF to have a help desk where complaints can be made and resolved.
“We are appealing to the Federal Ministry of Finance or their consultant to open the link icons for importers to pay directly. It is also important that they have office in Lagos and all the port for effective working relationship with clearing agents and importers.