Worried by the infrastructural decay at the Nigerian seaports, the House of Representatives yesterday resolved to investigate the operational activities of concessionaires in order to get to the root of the matter.
Passing the resolution, the house mandated its committees on privatization and commercialization, maritime transport, commerce and customs and excise to condcut a public hearing and report back within two weeks.
The decision followed a motion moved by Rep Jerry Alagbaoso (PDP, Imo) who noted that the concession agreement between the Nigerian government and concessionaires empowered them to efficiently handle cargoes in various seaports and maintain the infrastructure of their areas of operations.
He said the Nigeria Customs Service which is saddled with the responsibility of trade facilitation and collection of duties on imported goods, currently faces operational infrastructure challenges as a result of the “unsatisfactory” performance of the concessionaires.
He further noted with concern the incessant reports of infrastructural decay, lack of new cargo examination bays, poor service delivery, arbitrary charges in the name of demurrages and illegal movements or stacking of empty and laden containers by some concessionaires to undesignated areas without the consent of importers and their clearing agents.
He maintained that the poor performance of the concessionaires in the seaports “unnecessarily increase the cost of clearing goods or doing business in Nigeria, thereby negating trade facilitation.”
Information from Daily Trust was used in this report.