More than N400 billion worth of goods is rotting away at Apapa Port due to the manual clearing processes and rising costs.
An investigation has revealed that about N400 billion worth of goods has been abandoned in different containers at the Apapa Seaport. These goods which could not be cleared because of the manual clearing process adopted by the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) and the rising clearing cost are now rotting away.
Investors King learnt that there are more than 7000 containers at Apapa seaport which are now classified as overtime cargo.
Some of the experts in the industry disclosed that the NCS’s insistence on not using digital scanners to inspect cargo has led to a long delay in the clearing process.
As a result, many cargoes have incurred high demurrage and rental cost. After this, some of the importers abandoned the cargo.
Investors King understands that Nigeria is one of the few countries in the world still using manual examination for cargo clearance. Most of the country’s neighbours which include Lome are using digital scanners.
It will be recalled that the NSC Zonal Coordinator for Zone A, Modupe Aremu had earlier disclosed that Nigeria Customs has taken delivery of three scanners which will be deployed in Apapa, Tincan and Onne port.
The scanners which will quicking clearance and also help fight smuggling however have not been used for their purpose. NCS nonetheless attributes the delay to the training time for its personnel that will operate the scanners among other reasons.
Industry operators further argued that with the enormous amount generated by the Nigerian Customs Service, digital scanners should be the least of its headache.
The Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) is one of the big generating revenue agencies in Nigeria. It is in the same class as the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and the Nigerian National Petroleum Commission Limited (NNPCL). The overall operations of the Nigerian Customs Service generated N2.3 trillion in 2021.