The Minister of State for Transportation, Sen. Gbemisola Saraki, has blamed the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) for the inefficiency of the nation’s ports, saying that the Service has constitute itself into a hindrance to the development of the maritime sector.
Saraki, in a statement issued in Abuja on Friday urged the NCS to address bottlenecks in the ports for efficient maritime trade in the country.
She said that the gridlock at the Apapa has to be eliminated to boost port efficiency, and that the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC) must synergise on ways the country’s ports can be more efficient.
“Nigeria has lost cargoes to our neighbouring countries especially Cote d’voire and Benin Republic.
“One of the major problems we are having within the maritime industry especially within the ports, is the issue of Customs in other to have efficiency in our ports.
“In other to encourage Nigerians and others to use the ports, we need to work together with Ministry of Transport, other agencies and Customs because Customs has proven itself to be a hindrance to the development of Maritime sector.
“NIMASA, NPA, NSC are facilitators of trade, the more efficient the three agencies that are mentioned are, the higher the revenue will be for the government,” Saraki added.