By Ignatius Ushie

The Minister of State for Transportation, Sen. Gbemisola Saraki, has urged the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to address bottlenecks in the ports for efficient maritime trade in the country.

According to a statement made available to Transport Day in Abuja, Saraki said this at the recently held Ministerial Retreat in Lagos.

She reiterated that the gridlock at the Apapa has to be eliminated to boost port efficiency, and that the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC) should synergise on ways the country’s ports can be more efficient.

According to her “Nigeria has lost cargoes to our neighbouring countries especially Cote d’voire and Benin Republic. One of the major problems we are having within the maritime industry especially within the ports, is the issue of Customs,  in order to have efficiency in our ports. In order to encourage  Nigerians and others to use the ports, we need to synergise with Ministry of Transport,  other agencies and Customs  because Customs has proven itself to be a hindrance to the development of Maritime sector.

“NIMASA, NPA, NSC are facilitators of trade, the more efficient the three agencies that are mentioned are, the more higher the revenue will be for the government,” Saraki added.

 

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