The Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Hon. Adegboyega Oyetola CON, has lamented the abandonment of over 6,000 containers at Apapa and Tin Can Island ports in Lagos.
Oyetola stated this while speaking at the headquarters of Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) during a working visit today.
According the Minister, long bureaucratic processes and corruption are some factors that have elongated cargo clearance time thereby frustrating shippers and leading to the jettisoning of containers at ports.
The Minister, however, assured that he would engage the leadership of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) on the issue in a bid to evacuate the overtime cargoes and address other bottlenecks.
“I was told that some of these abandoned cargoes have been there since 2011. Why should we have cargoes dumped for that long? We would engage Customs to see how to evacuate these cargoes and prevent that from reoccurring.”
“Marine and Blue Economy has always been there but we are just beginning to look at it in a more coordinated manner”
“This Marine and Blue Economy evolves around economic growth, improved standard of living and employment. I am charging us to be more creative by seeing ourselves as civil servants in business,” the Minister said.
Oyetola stated that he was impressed with the accomplishments of NSC in recent years even as he promised to partner the agency in tackling the issues highlighted as requiring urgent actions.
In his welcome address, the Executive Secretary of NSC, Hon. Emmanuel Jime, highlighted issues requiring urgent attention to include the amendment of NSC Act to institute effective port economic regulation.
Other areas the NSC boss mentioned are; “actualization of one-percent (1%) freight stabilization fee on import and export to Shippers Council as enshrined in the NSC Subsidiary Legislation; implementation of the International Cargo Tracking Note (ICTN); establishment of a National Fleet, among others”
Meanwhile, the NSC boss expressed delight that the Minister has already shown immense commitment to transform the economic fortunes of the nation via the maritime sector.
Also speaking the NSC Director, Strategic Planning and Research, Mr. Rotimi Anifowose highlighted some of the recent gains of the NSC to include promotion of digitalization and automation of all port processes.
“In order to reduce the incidences of human contact in cargo delivery and abolish manual documentation for efficient service delivery, the Council is promoting the Digitalization and Automation of all Port Processes in Nigeria. This resulted into the digitalization of all processes by providers of shipping and ports services,” he said.