The Area Controller of Nigeria Customs Service, Ports Terminal Multiservices Limited Command, Lagos, Mrs. Modupeola Aremu, has said that the degree of compliance by importers and agents with Customs’ rules and regulations had increased, leading to a reduction in cases of infractions such as under-declaration, concealment, smuggling and other Customs-related trade malpractices.
Aremu, who stated this in an interview said, “Their compliance level is increasing because they know that they can get their consignments out in six hours if they do things right. That notwithstanding, we are doing a lot of enlightenment and education to keep them abreast of import and export trade issues such as usage of Information and Communication Technology to reduce human contact as well as deepening their knowledge about modernisation.
“Once your declaration is ready, you may not need to see anybody to get your goods out from this port. We are pursuing and sustaining a tempo of optimum efficiency.”
According to her, the rate of compliance by stakeholders has attained about 70 per cent.
On the command’s degree of preparedness for the Federal Government’s Ease of Doing Business agenda, the CAC noted that the PTML was a model port, adding, “We are ready, as I speak, for the 24-hour port operations. We do joint examination with other government agencies between the hours of 12 noon and 2pm.
“We have a designated area in the command for examination and people doing business here are aware of it. Once we are done, we leave the examination bay to continue with other aspects of our operations.”
She added that the command had commenced work during the weekend in anticipation of an increase in imported vehicles through the seaports due to the ban on vehicle importation through land borders.
“We already have a large number in the throughput of vehicles coming into the country through the PTML. We are prepared for it and we now work at weekends if the need arises. As vessels discharge vehicles here, we have to make sure our officers are the ground to effect quick processing of entries and prompt release of cleared vehicles to give room for more imported vehicles to be discharged at the port. This is part of what the 24-hour port operations is all about,” she stated.