Ahead of the official take off of Lekki Deep Seaport, the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS has said that it has created a customs command with all the paraphernalia to ensure that pioneering operations at seaport are seamless.
The Comptroller General of Customs, CGC, Col. Hameed Ali (rtd.) who disclosed this at a one day retreat/lecture organized by the League of Maritime Editors in Lagos yesterday, explained that the Service believed that the gains of the port far outweighs it’s demerits which explained the immediate creation of the command.
Ali who was represented at the event by the Zonal Coordinator in charge of Zone A, ACG Modupe Aremu observed that the Lekki deep seaport when completed was expected to be the highest seaport in Nigeria and a major step towards Africa’s largest economy, breaking through a bottleneck in the international trade and achieving accelerated economic growth.
He pointed out that as the first deep seaport in Nigeria, it had the capacity to handle 1.2 million containers annually thereby potentially increasing the country’s container handling capacity by up to 80 percent.
“Beyond this, the Lekki seaport also has the capacity to anchor and accommodate the biggest ships in the world and this makes it quite unique. It will constantly serve as a gateway to Nigeria and play a critical role for Nigerian commodities to reach the international market.
“Additionally, the port will position Lagos as a new maritime logistics hub in West Africa while also helping Nigeria to attain full economic leadership in the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement. It will also directly benefit local communities by creating massive jobs and enormous revenue in the coming decades. We can go on and on and that is why the CGC salutes the thoughtfulness of the organizers of the event as it will x-ray the gains, the challenges and threats”, he said.
The customs boss reiterated the readiness of the service to partner with other critical stakeholders in the revenue chain to ensure that the facility serves its purpose of establishment.
“It is no longer news that the Apapa and Tincan corridors have become so congested and therefore, the establishment of the Lekki deep seaport will help in reducing the traffic and congestion which is very antithetical to trade facilitation “, he added.
The CGC who also received an award alongside some of his officers, however, assured that the Service would not renege in its efforts to ensure that legitimate trades were facilitated through several trade facilitation tools which the Service had provided in that regard.
Photo: ACG Modupe Aremu, delivering the CGC’s address during a one day retreat/lecture organized by the League of Maritime Editors in Lagos Thursday.
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