Market News

Delays: Nigerian Importers Threaten To Reroute N34trn Cargoes - NEW TELEGRAPH

JUNE 18, 2024

Importers and agents are threatening to route their annual imports valued at N34 trillion from Lagos Port to Lekki and Tincan Island ports over delay an huge demurrage. They said that clearing of consignments in the port was being delayed by the officials of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) in charge of container scanning. According to them, scanned containers were being subjected to physical examination, leading to delay and payment of demurrages to shipping companies.

They complained that this had caused untold financial hardships as scanning of a container cost N70,000, while repositioning costs another N75,000 as demurrage on reefer containers attracts N124,000 per day. An importer, Mr Michael Oladele noted that agents were facing a lot of difficulties on the job, this was why some agents had decided to divert their cargoes to other ports like Lekki Port and Tin Can Port. Also, the Managing Director of Otokpo Logistics Limited, Sam Elem said that agents had been losing clients because of delay in cargo clearance, adding that a job that supposed to be delivered within five days are being delayed for three weeks.

The agent lamented that cargoes usually affected by these irregularities were raw materials, chemicals, reefer containers and supermarkets items. However, the Public Relations Officer of NCS, Apapa Command, Usman Abubakar, debunked the allegations of delay, noting that some containers needed to be subjected to physical examination because the scanning machine does not give comprehensive information needed to maximise revenue generation.

He explained: “What we deal with is imagery; we don’t deal with pictorial image to describe or interpret these consignments. So, there are certain items, particularly, items like chemicals which can fall under the regulations. It could have some radioactive materials in them which could require repositioning to see the material physically other than just looking at the image. “Such consignments are the ones I think the agents are complaining about. Also, sometimes when you have heterogeneous items mixed up with other items that can be classified differently from what the original items are, we would subject you to physical checks, even if it suits the analyst.

“There are instances when doing documentation, there are certain things that might not fit into where we are trying to place the heading in order to maximise the collection of revenue, in such circumstances, these containers would be subjected to physical checks. “These are not in all cases, it is done randomly in few occasions on those cargoes that have not given us correct descriptions, or such containers that are alerted, there is need to subject them to physical checks so that verifications and correct information would be inputted for necessary value appraisal.”

Recalled that in 2023, import into the port was put at N34 trillion. According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the value of imports of agricultural goods in Q4, 2023 stood at N711.14 billion, leading to increase of 10.48 per cent and 59.87 per cent when compared to the value recorded in Q3 of 2023 (N643.68 billion) and the corresponding quarter of 2022 (N444.82 billion) respectively. The bureau said that the value of raw material imports stood at N966.80 billion in Q4, 2023, stressing that the value increased by 1.67 per cent when compared to the value in Q3, 2023 (N950.93 billion) and by 72.87 per cent when compared to the value recorded in Q4, 2022 (N599.25 billion) respectively.

It said: “The value of solid minerals imports in the fourth quarter of 2023 stood at N58.92 billion. This value was 6.43 per cent higher than the value recorded in Q3, 2023 (N55.36 billion) and 72.68 per cent higher than the value recorded in Q4, 2022 (N34.12 billion). “The value of energy goods imports stood at N0.08 billion in Q4, 2023, while the value recorded in the third quarter of 2023 was N0.01 billion.”


This website uses cookies We use cookies to personalise content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyse our traffic. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners who may combine it with other information that you've provided to them or that they've collected from your use of their services
Real Time Analytics