… As Edike indicates how Customs saves LilyPond from collapse
The Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), Barrister Hassan Bello on Wednesday identified the country’s ports’ unfriendliness, to the massive cargo diversion of the past.
He stated this in Lagos during a one-day seminar of the Shippers’ Association of Lagos State, held at the Rockview Hotel, Apapa; just as the Customs Area Controller (CAC), Apapa Command, Mr. Charles Edike celebrated how the Comptroller General of Customs (CGC), Alhaji Dikko Inde Abdullahi’s timely intervention helped to save the Lily Pond Terminal, from untimely death.
“As you know, the Nigerian ports before now had been unable to compete favourably with other ports in the West and Central African sub-region as a result of numerous factors which made our ports to be unfriendly to the port users. One grave consequence of this was the diversion of cargo to neighbouring West African countries. These factors are well known and need not be recounted”, declared Hassan Bello, in a statement read by one the Coumcil’s Director, Mrs. S. A. Adeagbo.
He however noted, that the port had continued to undergo several reforms, by the Federal Government in order to place it where it ought to be, singling out the 2006 port reforms as the most remarkable.
“Consequently, the appointment of the NSC as the port economic regulator is not only a recognition of the need for such regulator, but represents the culmination of series of efforts by the Government to address the ills of the port system in Nigeria, with a view to putting it on a more secure path of sustainability and growth”, the Council Boss stated further, stressing that the gesture also remains the most viable option, for creating the desired enabling environment for wealth creation by all ports stakeholders.
Bello assured that the Council would provide a system that would ensure fair pricing, automation, timely disputes settling and efficiency, in addition to easy access to and from the ports.
Meanwhile, the Apapa Customs Area Controller, Charles Edike has revealed how the Comptroller General of Customs, Dikko Inde Abdullahi helped in saving the Lily Pond terminal from an imminent death, sequel to Dikko’s timely intervention, even after the terminal manager had given up hope, and announced publicly, that they were returning the terminal to Government for poor patronage.
“The CGC has saved the Lily pond”, he highlighted, stressing that with the directive that containers be regularly stemmed to the terminal, life came back, and jobs were saved; noting that over 40,000 containers have been transferred to the Lilypond, this year alone.
“The Pre Arrival Assessment Reports (PAAR) has worked. The CGC has been meticulous on this. And it is seriously helping, not only to facilitate trade, but also to ease off pressures from relevant stakeholders”, he said further, pointing out that God has been remarkably kind to Nigeria as a country, more especially, in the area of containing the spread of the Ebola virus disease.