Another set of over 200 containers were also said to have been abandoned in other terminals of the command due to trade infractions bordering on wrong documentations.
This was disclosed by the Customs Area Controller in-charge of the command, Comptroller Abubakar Bashir during a session with the Executives of Association of Maritime Journalists of Nigeria (AMJON) who paid him a courtesy visit at the command.
Comptroller Bashir said that Maersk Line reported a case of 2,000 containers of exports trapped at the port while another shipping line (name withheld) also confirmed to the service that 200 units of boxes were also affected due to lack of genuine documents.
According to the customs boss, the consignments were designated for exports, but improper documentation has hindered the processes of shipment.
He also noted that a private inspection agency has been invited on the best way out in resolving the trapped containers.
While emphasizing on the need to adhere strictly to compliance level, Bashir added that the service has met with the concessionaires and shipping companies over the burning issue at hand.
He said officers and men of the service operate an open door policy and would always abide to due diligence as par imports and exports guidelines.
He said “Let me start with the problem we have with exports today; only one company and that is Maerskline reported that they have almost 2,000 containers and yesterday when we ware in a meeting, another shipping company was talking about 200 containers.
“You know we have quite a number of shipping companies here, others have not reported there own figures, but definitely we are looking at about 2,000 containers that are hanging due to lack of proper documentations so far.
“Certainly, what we intend to do as a service is that I have already directed the officer in charge of revenue to call the designated agency appointed by the government to issue CCI certificate for the exports and see if we can have a parley with some of the exporters to see if we can give them entry measures to export the items within the scope of compliance.
“We have already set that in motion and I think we shall be meeting tomorrow “he stressed.
Earlier, President of the foremost maritime reporters group, Mr. Paul Ogbuokiri noted that the Apapa command plays critical role in revenue collection for the government and the association will continue to support it efforts to boost trade facilitation and revenue drive.
He also informed the customs chief about an event that would be organised by the group, saying the command will not be left out as regards customs contributions to nation building.
On trade facilitation at the command, Comptroller Bashir said the 48hrs clearance time is taking effect and that for compliance imports it is within 24hrs. He called on stakeholders to adhere to proper documentations and compliance for faster clearing process.
It could be recalled that Comptroller Bashir on assumption of office in August has told stakeholders that his timing at the flagship command for release of goods is 48hrs.