Don Condemns Persistent Interception Of Cargoes By Multiple Customs Units
Fred Omotara, Lagos
A lecturer at the Nigeria Maritime University, Okerenkoko, Delta State, Mr. Charles Okorefe has condemned the incessant interception of cargo clearance by multiple Customs units, stating that the Service needs to embrace utilisation of blockchain technology for efficient digital operations.
Speaking during the 2022 Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the League of Maritime Editors and Publishers (LOMEP), which held in Badagry, Lagos on Thursday, Mr. Okorefe explained that persistent interception of cargoes by multiple units of Customs outside the ports gives an impression that Customs units are not under a single management.
While delivering the lead paper at the event themed “The role of Technology in Trade Facilitation and Smuggling Suppression,” Mr. Charles Okorefe stressed that the compactness of blockchain gainfully deployed in managing cryptocurrencies could usher in seamless Customs operations.
“All units of Customs should make themselves available for Customs examination so that there’s no interception after goods exit the ports. This would address the problem of distrust among the various units of Customs,” he posited.
Okorefe warned that there are grave implications of the needless interceptions with Nigeria having signed and ratified the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AFCFTA) as the nation could become the laggard in the treaty.
He observed that server breakdown occurs too often with Customs leading to high costs eventually passed down to the consumers of imported goods from additional demmurage and storage charges.
Speaking earlier, the Chairman of Nigerian Port Consultative Council, Otunba Kunle Folarin condemned the Federal Government’s list of prohibited items that aren’t produced in sufficient quantities in the nation.
Otunba Folarin noted that human element and monetary benefits are the biggest challenges to technological innovations at the nation’s ports.
In his own speech, the Chairman of the occasion and Director General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh described the training programme theme as apt.
“The media is one of the key elements in nation building and everything we do in life. The maritime media is very unique and they work tirelessly. I receive news posts by 1am and 2pm because they work round the clock. This shows your passion to change and sanitize the industry. You always want to sensitize, educate and correct wrong impressions in the industry and we are grateful to have this vibrant maritime press,” Jamoh said