By Aisha Cole
The President, Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Mr Iju Nwabunike, has called on the Federal Government to dredge the Eastern ports to attract more cargo and decongest the Western ports.
Nwabunike, also a Director, Inland Container Terminal, Kaduna, made the call during his visit to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) office in Lagos.
“Onitsha seaport needs dredging. So many ports in the Eastern states are having the same problem of dredging and silt.
“So we think Federal Government will look into all the seaports in Eastern Nigeria and make them viable so that people can import through there.
“Again, they should encourage some dry ports in the Eastern Nigeria and the bonded terminals.
“We have another bonded terminal that is coming very shortly near Onitsha which Anambra State is actually constructing – Anambra Container Bonded Terminal, “ he said.
The Association’s chief stressed the need for the Federal Government to encourage development in the Eastern ports by providing necessary infrastructure for effective shipping operations.
He also expressed concern about the invasion of the freight forwarding profession by touts.
“Touting is becoming a norm in Nigerian ports and terminals. We need to know who is a licensed customs agents.
“You need to be licensed to operate in that area. Anybody can tell you that he is a freight forwarder but the most important thing is that in the Customs areas, you have to be a licensed customs agent for you to operate.
“I think government, through the Nigerian Ports Authority and Customs should liaise effectively to curb all these mess,’’ Nwabunike said.
The customs agent urged government agencies in charge of ports and cargo clearance to assist in chasing out touts from the ports.