In order to ease the export of non-oil products, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has expressed its readiness to designate the Ikorodu Cargo Termina in Lagos South west Nigeria l as a dedicated export gateway.
Deputy Comptroller (DC) and Public Relations, NCS Headquarters, Abuja, Alhaji Adewale Adeniyi dropped the hint in his paper “Maritime Domain Awareness: Role of the Media”, at the recent 2016 Africa Maritime Journalists Conference (AMJOC), Accra, Ghana.
He explained that as part of measures to meet its N1 trillion revenue target this year, the NCS will support excise companies and assist local manufacturers improve their export volumes to enable them bring in the needed foreign exchange into the country.
“Anyone familiar with the traffic situation in Lagos will appreciate what we are trying to do at Ikorodu. We are trying to see the possibility of moving the entire export operations from the mainstream seaports to a location in Ikorodu so that trucks carrying goods for export no longer have to struggle with those taking delivery or returning containers at the major Lagos ports,” he said.
Adeniyi also revealed that NCS has plans to recruit no less than 1, 200 seafarers this year to strengthen its fight against smuggling through the waterways and equally provide employment to the youths.
Explaining why the service took the decision, he said: “The NCS in collaboration with other security agencies is determined to effectively monitor and check criminal activities within Nigeria’s maritime space. To this end, the service has acquired sea-going platforms for our Marine Commands (Eastern and Western). In my estimate, we will need about 1,200 seafarers, who will be trained as customs officers, to man these platforms, while some of them will be needed for maintenance and repair services.
He called for a paradigm shift in the continent’s approach to tackle the rise in trans-border maritime crimes. According to him, that crime is transnational and our failure to share information and intelligence has made the fight against piracy, hijacking of ships, human trafficking, oil theft and other vices difficult to curtail in our waters.
“We must therefore set aside our parochial interests and see the threat to one as a threat to all,” Adeniyi declared.
He commended those behind the idea of the conference and urged government agencies and corporate bodies to invest in capacity building for maritime journalists. He noted that this is the only way they can report the industry better.