The Federal Government has set up a committee to address lingering issues of overtime cargoes at the nation’s seaports and proffer solutions on how the cargo can be cleared from the port.
The Committee, which is to be chaired by Magdalene Ajani, the permanent secretary of the Federal Ministry of Transportation, is made up of the representatives of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), and Federal Ministry of Transportation and among others.
At the inauguration in Abuja on Thursday, Ajani said that the inability to clear overtime cargo at the nation’s seaports has affected the number of cargo that can be handled due to the limitation of space.
She said that the situation has resulted in a drastic drop in the volume of cargo coming into the country, and consequently affected the government’s revenue.
She pointed out that the clearing of overtime cargoes should not be confined to the Ikorodu Lighter Terminal, Lagos Port Complex, and Tin-Can Island Port Complex but all other ports and terminals across the country.
The committee’s terms of reference include confirming the inventory of submission by the Nigerian Ports Authority on the actual number of overtime cargo in the ports and other locations; conducting a joint examination of all such cargo to determine contents suitable for use or consumption; providing a list separating goods for disposal by public auction and those to be disposed of by condemnation/destruction.
Also, the committee is saddled with the responsibility of gazetting all cargoes identified as overtime for disposal and to determine the methodology for public auctioning at various ports and locations.
The committee is also to determine the recoverability of terminal operators’ revenue arising from long occupation of economic spaces at the port, and transfer charges and ensure that the process is in conformity with applicable customs practices.
Responding on behalf of the committee, Adekunle Oloyede of the Nigeria Customs Service assured that the members will resolve the challenges of overtime cargo at the port.