Customs agents petition Presidency over system failure at port

Prince Olayiwola Shittu

Customs agents under the umbrella of the Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) have petitioned President Goodluck Jonathan and the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, over the poor performance of server service provider, the Webb Fontaine at the nation’s seaports .

The National President of association, Prince Olayiwola Shittu said the firm which was contracted by Nigeria Customs Service to provide internet facilities for trade facilitation at the ports was riddled by server failures in the last one year.
He explained that the service at the Port and Terminal multi-service Limited (PTML) Customs Area Command was worst.

He lamented that the Customs server at the com-mand had broken down for almost a week without a solution in sight.

The server was built and is being operated on behalf of the NCS by Webb Fontaine.

Shittu noted that his association planned to meet with the service provider to discuss ways of resolving critical operational matters at the port.

Also speaking on the server breakdown, ANLCA PTML Chapter Chairman, Bola Adesokan said the server breakdown had impeded clearing operations with his members accumulating huge demurrage on their consignments.

He stressed the server problem had persisted since last week “with no sign of it getting better”.

Adesokan added: “The server has broken down since last week and since it was not a Customs problem, we decided to report to the President so that he can take it up with the Federal Government. The Federal Ministry of Finance gave the contract to Webb Fontaine and if they are not do-ing well, they know what to do.

“As a person, if I give a job to someone and he didn’t do it very well, I will withdraw it and give it to someone that is competent to do. I don’t know what the Federal Government is still doing with Web fortane after many failures.”—International Trade Monitor