Tariff hike shrinks Customs revenue

Volume of transit goods passing through Seme border has been reduced significantly due to high tariffs charged by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS). It was learnt that the tariffs charged at the border had gone up by 150 per cent within the Lagos-Abidjan corridor. This has also affected NSC’s revenue in the first quarter of the year. Chairman, Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Seme chapter, Alhaji Lasisi Fanc, said that the upward review of the value of imported goods by the Customs’ tariff and trade unit was not…

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Nigerian seafarers at crossroads over wages

As seafarers across the world continue to press for increased salaries to improve their standard of living, their Nigerian members are still at the mercy of shipowners. BAYO AKOMOLAFE reports Next year, a new minimum wage would be recommended for all able seafarers working on board ships across the world in order to improve their welfare. Currently, the International Labour Organisation (ILO)’s minimum wages for seamen is $1,078 for steward, while a master receives $6,633 monthly. However, majority of seamen in Nigeria may not benefit from the new salaries and…

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New commission annexes shippers’ council’s roles

Two years after it was appointed by the Federal Government as the economic regulator of the Nigerian port industry, Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) is again transmuting to the status of National Transport Commission (NTC). BAYO AKOMOLAFE reports. An independent multimodal transport sector regulator is being considered by government to create an economic regulatory framework for the provision of transport services and facilities. The new commission will facilitate effective competition, promote high-quality market conduct and discourage misuse of monopoly in the country’s transport industry. Government had, in March 2016, resolved to…

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NPA hands over relief materials to IDPs

Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has handed over some relief materials and items procured for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to Borno State Government. The materials, according to a statement, include bags of rice, beans, corn, millets, and tins of palm oil, mattresses and solar lamps. Managing Director of the Authority, Hadiza Bala Usman, who handed the material to Governor Kashim Shettima, explained that NPA had resolved to sustain the commitment it had established in her corporate social responsibility across the country. Usman said that NPA had made similar provisions to IDPs…

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Forex scarcity: Ship owners negotiate with local shipyards

Ship owners under the umbrella of Ship Owners Association of Nigeria (SOAN) have opened up discussions with Nigerdock and other ship repair service providers over foreign exchange scarcity. It was gathered that the cost of securing forex to take ships out of the country for repairs is becoming too high. Before the foreign exchange challenge, over 80 per cent of ships operating on Nigerian waters dry docked their vesels outside the country. President of the association, Engr. Greg Ogbeifun, at the inauguration of the executive council of SOAN held in…

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Scanners: Bureaucracy cripples planned acquisition

Plans by Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to acquire scanning machines for ports and borders before the end of first quarter has hit the rocks. BAYO AKOMOLAFE reports Last January, the Customs Comptroller General, Col Hammed Ali (rtd), gave assurance that there would be an improvement in trade facilitation with the delivery of new functional scanners for cargo inspection at ports and borders before March, 2017. Currently, cargo examination is being conducted 100 per cent manually. The comptroller general said that the service was working diligently to replace the obsolete idle…

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Q1 2017: Port earnings eroded by 300%

Low ship traffic and sharp drop in importation of industrial and consumer goods in the first three months of the year affected earnings of government agencies, shipping lines, freight forwarders and other port users. BAYO AKOMOLAFE reports The on-going recession has slowed business activities in Nigeria’s maritime sector since the beginning of the year. The port industry recorded low ship traffic, while cargo throughput dropped considerably amidst poor infrastructure, poor power supply, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s restriction of 41 items from the official foreign exchange window and piracy. Port…

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Agents to customs: Review clearing licences to foreigners

Clearing agents operating at the country’s seaports are mounting pressure on Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) to review the issuance of clearing licences to non- Nigerians. Currently, some Lebanese and Indians are the beneficiaries of import licence in the country. It was learnt that the foreigners, who have taken over 50 per cent of the jobs from Nigerians, are being patronised by Nigerian companies. President, Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Prince Olayiwola Shittu, who received the Customs Comptroller General, Col Hammed Ali (rtd), at the association’s secretariat during a…

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Forex fluctuation raises handling charges by 224%

Foreign exchange fluctuation has increased the Terminal Handling Charges (THC) in Nigerian ports by 224 per cent between 2006 and 2016. The THC is the payment received from transferring cargo from ship/quay side to the yard for release to clearing agents or importers. The Director of Strategy and Operations at Deloitte, Bola Asiru, disclosed this in Lagos. He said that if the terminal operators were to adjust the THC yearly in line with changes in foreign exchange and Nigerian Consumer Price Index (CPI), the rate should have increased to N185,112…

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