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Customs agents fret over 7% port surcharge abuse

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Customs agents fret over 7% port surcharge abuse

The 7 per cent port development surcharge statutorily introduced is not working for the National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents (NCMDLCA). The National President of NCMDLCA, Lucky Amiwero, said this while presenting a paper at a forum in Lagos.

 

He said that the surcharge was established exclusively to maintain and improve infrastructure at the seaports. Amiwero noted that the fund was drawn from an additional 7 per cent of the duty on imported goods.

 

He urged the government to build truck holding bays and truck terminals from the fund in order to rid the port access roads of trucks and trailers, which had become a menace to the ports in Lagos and neighbouring communities.

 

He noted that the Federal Government had lost sight of the actual reason for the 7 per cent surcharge, saying that proceeds from the surcharge ought to be set aside and used to meet the infrastructural needs of ports nationwide.

 

Also, he said that the government should redefine the roles of the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) in addressing the port, logistics infrastructure and the access routes to the ports.

 

Amiwero identified traffic gridlock on port access roads, breakdown of scanners, cumbersome customs clearing process and port service charges not tied to specific services as some of the problems militating against the growth of the shipping sector in Nigeria.

The president said that country needs to define the port model in properly structured legal instruments; enact legislation to control and regulate the shipping/ocean business based on global best practices.

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