Freight forwarders have attributed the increasing patronage of the Tin Can Island port by importers to the prevailing peaceful atmosphere as well as efficient service delivery of the Customs command, which they claimed has made it user-friendly.
The Customs brokers, who ply their trade at Tin Can terminals, described the facility as one blessed with a Customs command that is proactive and customers-friendly, which they said attracts hordes of importers.
Barrister Ada Akpunonu, the Vice-Chairman of the Tin Can Chapter of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), who ventilated the feelings of the freight forwarders said the port’s command of the Nigeria Customs operates the unified Customs tariff and valuation structure.
She said this clarification became imperative in view of what she described as falsehood and propaganda allegedly being peddled by the management of the Port’s and Terminal Multi-services Limited (PTML) against Tin Can port terminal and Customs. Last week, the Executive Director of the PTML, Askanio Russo, complained to the members of the Senate Committee on Privatisation that his terminal lost a large chunk of its customers to the rival terminal at the Tin Can port due to what he alleged to be uneven administration of Customs tariff and valuation.
Russo reportedly blamed the Customs authority of using different ex-factory prices and valuation assessment for used vehicles discharged at his terminal, which he claimed are different from what obtained at rival terminals in Tin Can. He further claimed that the disparity in tariff interpretation, especially on the new automotive policy between the two terminals, has resulted to huge cargo diversion from his terminal to the rival terminal.
Piqued by what she described as the mischief and sheer blackmail tactics of the PTML management, Akpunonu said that Russo displayed ignorance of the auto policy of the Federal Government and its attendant effects on motorised cargo. “PTML is a terminal, which specialises in handling vehicular imports and the management of the facility ought to be aware that the new auto policy with its attendant high tariff will definitely affect the volume of traffic. It is pure arm-twisting tactics being employed by the PTML managers to accuse Customs of operating two different tariff and valuation structure at both the PTML and other competing terminals.
“Customs valuation system is unified and there is only one Customs administering the unified system at all its commands,” the ANLCA chieftain tutored.
Speaking in the same vein, Prince Kayode Oyinlola, the chapter Chairman of Tin Can ANLCA, expressed disgust at the claims made by the PTML management, which he believed was capable of causing disaffection among Customs officers.
“PTML management should not blame anybody for its down-turn in business fortunes, rather it should address some of its charges, which rank as one of the highest in the country,” Oyinlola observed.
The two ANLCA chieftains attributed the importers’ preference for the Tin Can port to what they described as the passion, dedication, commitment and vast knowledge of Customs officers in the command in valuation system. “The Customs officers in Tin Can port are experienced and can defend their decision on valuation anywhere due to their efficiency, transparency and due diligence in the interpretation and application of the valuation system.
This has resulted to high level of compliance among importers and their agents and high revenue yield to government.
Source : SunOnline