Information key for export to thrive in Nigeria – Bomodi

By Chiazo Ogbolu

Comptroller Timi Bomodi, Area Controller, Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Kirikiri Lighter Terminal (KLT) Command, on Wednesday, said information was key to export thriving in Nigeria.

Bomodi said this while playing host to the executives of Maritime Reporters Association of Nigeria, (MARAN), who paid him a courtesy visit in his office in Lagos.

According to Bomodi, export potential of Nigeria are huge, but the country lacks information, data, internal logistics system, payment platforms and other infrastructure that can help her achieve this.

“For export to thrive, Nigerians need information on goods to export. But, there is lack of information; internal logistics system is not efficient. Payment platforms are not in existence.

“Export potential are huge in Nigeria but where are the infrastructure to support it?” Bomodi queried.

On the capacity of the Kirikiri Lighter Terminal (KLT), Bomodi noted that the terminal was capable of handling 4,000, Twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEUs) but unfortunately, functions lower than 10 per cent of its full capacity.

Bomodi added that this was as a result of under-utilisation of the potential of the terminal.

The customs boss noted that  KLT offered more opportunities in terms of space, proximity and access to the port for the facilitation of export and import in and out of the seaports in Lagos.

He added that KLT was the most strategic port in Lagos, taking into account the crucial role of helping to decongest the ports by providing space in the heyday of cargo congestion.

The customs controller said they had made contact with the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), terminal operators, shipping companies and other stakeholders on the need to move cargo into the terminal.

“KLT is the most strategic port, in congestion, KLT functioned as a buoy for the trapped cargo. KLT has a lot of underutilised space and offers more access for cargo to come in and go out of the ports.

“KLT is functioning less than 10 per cent of its capacity of 4,000 TEUs. It is not good the underutilisation of such a vital national asset which can play a crucial role in promotion of export in the country.

“We have been telling NPA and terminal operators that we need to move cargo to the port. Shipping companies will see wisdom bringing their cargo here. It makes a lot of economic sense.

“KLT offers capacity for the Nigeria Customs to generate more revenue at this time the nation needs revenue,” Bomodi said.

He noted that the port had the capacity and facilities to handle barges that brought containers from TinCan and was profitable for terminal operators.

Congratulating the MARAN executives on their election, the customs boss said there were a lot of challenges that importers and exporters experience because of infrastructure decay in and around the ports.

He appreciated MARAN members for displaying high level of integrity in their reports.

Earlier in his remarks, Mr Godfrey Bivbere, President of MARAN, said the purpose of the visit was to intimate the controller on the activities of the association and synergy with the command to boost its operations.



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