The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Centre for Promotion of Private Enterprise (CPPE), Dr Muda Yusuf has identified an urgent need to ease the cargo clearing processes at the ports; saying it is a major component of ease of doing business.
Yusuf in his economic review for 2021 and agenda for 2022, stressed the need to reduce the number of agencies involved in cargo clearing at the ports; deploy technology to aid the customs clearing process, as well as adopt the use of scanners.
“It is a sad commentary that the largest economy in Africa has been examining cargo and containers physically and manually for the past few years. The effect of this on the cost of imports has been humongous. The interest payment on the import, demurrage charges arising from delays, the extra charges by shipping companies, the additional charges by the truck drivers all of these have put a lot of burden on cost, on investors and citizens,”
The economist further stressed the need to expedite action on the single window system to minimise human interface at the ports while he called for an urgent review of the current call-up system with a view to making the system efficient and less vulnerable to corruption and extortion.
“We need to put a credible independent dispute resolution system in place to resolve disputes between the Customs service and importers. The involvement of the police in the clearance of cargo should be discontinued. We should compel shipping companies and terminal operators to increase efficiency in their processes and provide the needed cargo handling equipment to expedite the clearance of cargo. We should also address the incessant traffic gridlock around the Lagos Ports,” he said.