By Godfrey Bivbere
Management of the Apapa Area1 command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has warned of grieve consequence of bad port access roads, noting that idleness of bonded terminal operators could lead to chaos in the area.
Making to the position of the command known in a press statement on its revenue collection this year, the public relations officer, Mr Dera Nnadi, noted that the 11 bonded terminals around the port, only two have had cargoes stepped down there in the last six months.
According to Nnadi, â€œIt will be worthy to note that the current drought in cargo importation is seriously affecting operations at the Bonded Terminals. As at the time of this report, virtually all the terminals under Apapa Command are lying fallow. Of the over 11 Bonded Terminals operating in the Command, there are not more than two that have received container transfer in the last three months. Some are yet to receive containers six months after their last effort in that direction.â€
He further pointed out that, â€œThis is a worrisome development considering the huge investments in these terminals and not to talk of the enormous economic loss to the businesses that offer ancillary services in the terminals. I hope something urgent will be done to redress the situation. As they say, an idle mind is a devils workshop. All the people who conduct their affairs in theses places need to be adequately engaged to avoid social chaos.â€
On the revenue collected in the last seven months, the Apapa Customs image maker said that they have raked in N51.46 billion and N42.083 billion into the federation and non federation account respectively during the period under review.
The Customs spokesman noted that the Command collected for both the federation and non federation account, the total sum of N93.542 billion while it likewise raked in N14 billion, N15 billion and N16 billion respectively into the federation and non federation account in May, June and July as well.
It further stated that the Command was given a target of N244 billion of the N650 billion total target slammed on the Service at the beginning of the year. From the above target, the Command is expected to collect a total estimate of N20 billion monthly but the reality on ground has made it unrealiseable.
He gave some of the reasons as low volume of import, global melt down is affecting Importers & Agents such that even when Cargo arrives it is not easy getting funding from banks to clear them
Reason for Not Meeting Target, poor road infrastructure within the port access road and man hour lost to long stay in traffic.
The image maker however stated that the Command has put in place modalities to blocking all revenue loop holes, as well as insistence on payment before discharge of Bulk Cargo as against the previous method of pre-release before payment.