Minister of Transportation, Sen. Said Ahmed Alkali (left), Comptroller-General of Customs (CGC), Bashir Adeniyi, and Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola, after a strategic meeting on port decongestion in Abuja
By Anthony Nwachukwu
Towards a conducive and efficient trade environment, including port decongestion, trade facilitation and overall operational efficiency and competitiveness, Nigeria has finally decided to phase out physical inspection for Non-Intrusive Inspection Technology (NIIT) across the seaports.
At a meeting in Abuja Monday, the ministers of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola, Transportation, Sen. Said Ahmed Alkali, and the Comptroller-General of Customs (CGC), Bashir Adeniyi, agreed that the use of scanners would address ports congestion and ensure efficiency and competitiveness.
To this end, the CGC is to enforce the use of scanners at the ports, while private investors are to be encouraged to invest in their deployment and maintenance, according to a joint statement by the media assistant to Oyetola, Ismail Omipidan, and Customs Public Relations Officer, Abdullahi Maiwada.
And to ensure unhindered scanning process during crucial infrastructure developments, the meeting, which the Managing Director of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), Fidet Okhiria, also attended virtually, further resolved on a new construction to bypass the fixed scanner at Apapa.
The resolutions included an immediate action to repair and optimise all existing scanners at prominent ports, such as Apapa, Tin Can Island, Onne and PTML, while the existing mobile scanners are strategically deployed for expeditious cargo inspection.
On its part, the NRC unveiled plans for efficient evacuation of containers from Port Harcourt to Aba, with future extensions envisaged for Onne Port, while pledging continued commitment to freight cargoes to inland container depots/dry ports to alleviate congestion at the major ports.