The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has reaffirmed its support towards the seamless operations of the Lekki Deep Seaport as a key contributor to the national economy.
The assurance was given by Adewale Adeniyi, the acting comptroller general of Customs while on his first official visit to the port in Ibeju Lekki, Lagos, on Wednesday, July 19, 2023.
Adeniyi said Customs will provide all necessary support to Lekki Port to facilitate and boost trade in Nigeria in line with the mandate of the Nigeria Customs Service.
“We are coming with a shared understanding of what the Nigerian economy needs. We don’t need to look further than the investment we see here. We want to generate foreign exchange. We want foreign investment to come to Nigeria so that jobs can be created for our people and we can raise revenue. What we are seeing holds the promise and potential to achieve those objectives. As an agency of government, we will continue to be a partner with a shared vision. When we work together on major policy decisions, we will overcome any major issue that may arise,” he said.
Adeniyi described Lekki Port as a catalyst and a game-changer that would contribute to Nigeria’s economic prosperity and serve as a massive source of revenue for the government, given its capacity to handle large vessels.
In his remarks, Du Ruogang, managing director of Lekki Port, thanked the new Acting Comptroller General for honoring the port’s invitation to pay a visit so early in his term as acting CG.
“On behalf of the port promoters, China Harbour and Tolaram, we congratulate you on your appointment, and we wish you great success in your work as CG of Customs. Lekki Port is eager to cooperate with you to leverage technology and automation for more efficient customs operations,” he said.
Ruogang stated that Lekki Port had all the modern equipment and the features of a global port available in China, Singapore, Malaysia and Tangier.
He added that the cooperation of the Customs is crucial to the port’s success as a very smooth and efficient customs operation is key to attracting customers to the port.
Also, Yann Magarian, the chief executive officer of the container terminal operator, Lekki Freeport Terminal, disclosed that with the commencement of commercial operations at Lekki Freeport Terminal, Nigeria’s position as the maritime hub of West Africa has been restored.
“In the few months of operations, we have achieved significant milestones at the Lekki Freeport terminal. These include increased productivity at Nigerian Ports using our state-of-the-art super post-Panamax cranes. This has allowed us to reduce operational hours on vessels while at berth; commissioning two of the fastest scanning machines in the country, which allows the scanning of containers in less than 1 minute and the commencement of transshipment services in Nigeria. This is the first of its kind. We are progressively returning container trade lost to neighbouring West African ports,” he said.
In addition, Magarian commended the Federal Government of Nigeria and various stakeholders, including the Nigerian Customs Service, for their support in making Lekki Port a reality.
The acting CG and his entourage were taken on a tour of the container terminal, where they observed the ship-to-shore cranes and RTGs and observed the scanners in operation.