Shippers Council partners with Nigerian Customs on Dry Ports Project

David Adekunle, Lagos

The Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) has called on the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to partner with the Council for a successful take-off of the Inland Dry Ports (IDP) project in the country.

Executive Secretary of the Council, Hassan Bello made the call during the inauguration of a 9-Man Technical Committee on the IDP projects in Lagos.

Bello said the Technical Committee was set up to ensure collaboration between the Council and NCS for the successful take off of the IDP projects in the country.

He said it was better to get it right from the beginning so that mistakes recorded in the nation’s seaports in the past would not be repeated at the dry ports.

Describing all ports as simply Customs ports, Bello said the Council has been part of the dry ports concept since 2006, adding that the participation of Customs in this Technical Committee cannot be overemphasized.

The Shippers Council boss who was full of praises for the past and present Comptroller Generals of Customs for their tremendous support and encouragement in the IDP projects, assured the Agency of the Council’s resolve to work towards trade facilitation.

He stated that the Kaduna Inland Dry Port would soon commence full operations and about to obtain approval and recognition from the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations (FIATA) and International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and solicited for the co-operation of Customs Service for a joint review of the initial draft Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) earlier developed by both organizations for the smooth operations of the IDP.

Earlier, the Comptroller General of Nigeria Customs Service,Col Hammed Ali who was represented by the Apapa Area Controller, Mr. Musa Jubrin, appreciated the management of the Council for initiating the IDP concept.

Ali said the dry port project will go a long way in contributing to economic diversification and pledged the support of the Agency towards the actualization of the projects.

The Customs boss also stated that the concept was in line with global best practices of attracting investors by making port operations businesses attractive, competitive and easy.

He advised the Council and other stakeholders in the industry to key into the E-platform of the Nigeria Customs Service stating that the service is fully automated which is in line with the recent Presidential directives in the ease of doing business in Nigeria.

The Committee is made of Mr. A. N. Makinde, Director Inland Transport Services as the Chairman; Mrs. A. Dublin-Green, Deputy Director, Law & Policy; Mr. O. Oyebola, Deputy Director, Bilaterial & Multilateral Trade Services; Mr. T.O. Jaiyeola, Deputy Director Monitoring & Intermodal Coordination; Mr. A. G. Saidu, Comptroller of Customs; Mr. H. J. Swomen, Deputy Comptroller; Mr. A. U. Ebieme, Assistant Comptroller and Mr. M. A. Kwairanga, Superintendent of Customs as members.

Ime Njoku