Tin Can Island Command of the Nigeria Customs Service has disclosed that the use of barges to ferry consignments out of the nation’s seaports was conceptualised by the present Area Controller, Comptroller M.B.A Musa.
Spokesman of the Command, Uche Ejesieme who disclosed this in Lagos during a chat with newsmen, explained that the easy flow of cargo through the waterways system of transportation started from the command through the approval of the Comptroller General of the Service, Hameed Ali.
According to him, the Area Controller articulated the process and innovation because of the challenges faced by shippers and freight agents in the movement of cargoes along the port corridors in Lagos thus the need to think out of the box in encouraging trade facilitation.
“We can’t be talking about trade facilitation without adequate infrastructure in place and that is why the controller wrote a memo to Abuja suggesting to the CGC on the need to start barge operations to ferry cargoes out of the port and he got the approval to start such operations.
“Barge operations started in Tin Can Island Port under Comptroller Musa MBA with close collaboration with FOU Zone A, and Western Marine Command of the service.
“The Area Controller summoned a tink tank team to come up with this idea, then they came up with a memo presented to the CGC and today the rest is history because barge operations have paid off immensely.
Ejesieme noted that most developed countries all over the world are into barge operations in line with World Customs Organisations standard adding that the mode of transportation in port operations has helped to decongest the terminal due to the state of the roads.
Though Port and Terminal Multiservices Limited (PTML) had been involved in the movement of RORO consignments via barges in the last seven years, the spokesman argued that containers evacuation via the waterways started under the present Area Controller and has yielded positive results to aid trade facilitation and to decongest the ports.
While harping on revenue collected for the year despite the pandemic, the Public Relations Officer affirmed that command has been able to perform above expectations.
He noted that the Dispute Resolution Desk has intervened in quite a number of cases to address issues bothering cargo clearance.
Source: Daily Focus