- Lack of Infrastructure’ll Frustrate Executive Order
A maritime sector expert and Chief Executive of Maritime Media Limited, Mr. Asu Beks, has said that lack of infrastructure in the country will frustrate implementation of the Federal Government’s executive order at the seaports.
The Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, had among others, directed the resumption of 24-hour operations at the Apapa Port and banned touting outright.
But in an interview with our correspondent on Tuesday, Beks acknowledged that the intention of the government was good but added that the country was not properly structured for effective implementation of the order.
He said, “All we need to do is to set the machinery in action to achieve these objectives. We don’t have power and the single window is not even there to clear your goods from the comfort of your home.
“Apapa generates almost N75m revenue but by 5pm, the power plant is switched off. How can you achieve 24 hours operations when you use generators everyday?”
He also suggested a reduction in the number of agents carrying out physical examination of cargo at the port as part of efforts to ensure effective implementation of the order.
He added, “The intention of the government is good but it is not something that you can execute with a fiat. It is a long term plan. The infrastructure and manpower have to be put in place first before it can succeed.
“The Nigeria Customs Service has not employed in the last five years; people are retiring every day. All the port access roads, from Onne to Lagos, are not good and most workers spend six hours on the road to their offices everyday.”
Meanwhile the Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents has welcomed the merging of the functions of all the government agencies.
The President of the association, Olayiwola Shitu, told our correspondent that the development would reduce the amount of time agents spent between the park and the Customs scanning machines because all the various officers would now be stationed at one location.