1st July, 2010
A maritime operator and public commentator, Prince (Dr.) Olusegun Ologbese, has identified obstacles to effective port operations in the country.
In a statement made available to P.M.NEWS, Prince Ologbese explained tha efforts must be made by stakeholders in the maritime sector to make the ports user-friendly.
He emphasised that this should be uppermost in the minds of stakeholders, particularly customs, NPA, service providers, shipping companies, banks, concessionaires, transporters and security agents.
â€œBefore a port can be referred to as user friendly, it must deliver importerâ€™s goods in good time and control the charges to avoid high tariff.
â€œA situation where you cannot take delivery of your goods from the ports in two weeks is not the best,â€ he stated.
The maritime expert commended the Comptroller-General of Customs, Alhaji Nde Dikko, for the reforms he introduced for early clearance of cargo at the ports.
â€œAlhaji Dikko has restructured customs service to the extent that the long delay usually experienced at the Customs Long Room is now a thing of the past,â€ he added.
Prince Ologbese said the delay was wiped out with the introduction of the Customs Processing Centre, e-payment and other innovative measures by the customs boss.
He blamed the present problems being experienced at the ports on port operators appointed by the federal government.
â€These port operators were brought to the ports to add value to its operations but the opposite has been the case,â€ he explained.
He attributed non clearance of goods in the ports within 48 hours to lack of equipment by these concessionaires, especially AP Moller.
Prince Ologbese called on the government to assist customs to meet its target by providing the service with the necessary logistics for operations.