One year after the pronouncement of ease of doing in Nigeria by the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, examination of cargoes in the Nigerian ports has dropped from 300 to 200 containers a day. This was disclosed by the Apapa chapter Chairman of the National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents (NCMDLCA), Emeka Enwelu, who condemned the attitude of customs officers on duty. Some of these officers, he claimed, resume their normal duty from 1 pm as against the normal resumption time of 10 am.
Speaking to newsmen, in Lagos, yesterday, Enwelu said that examination of cargoes at Apapa has gone down from 300 to 200 containers per day due to the officers’ attitude to work.
“Customs officers come for examination between 12pm and 1pm daily; that is the actual time they come for examination and we have discussed so much on the need for them to come early for examination.
If they come early, it will enable us get our cargoes out in good time. That is not trade facilitation. They are expected to start by 10am as advised by the government” he said. Enwelu further stated that because of the delay experienced in Apapa Port, clearing agents find it difficult to examine and release goods the same day. He said that agents are forced to return the following day for the release of their consignments, thereby causing increase in storage charges.
“If customs conducts examination and writes the report, we can get our cargoes, but when they start late they find it difficult to write the report because the whole day has already been wasted.
“If they start by 12 noon, they can never cover up. They used to do 300 containers per day but now it is less than 200 containers per day because of the three-hour delay by customs examination officers”he regretted.