Posted by News Express | 31 July 2015 | 2,582 times
The Apapa gridlock has taken its toll on the revenue profile of the Nigeria Customs Service, the Apapa Area Comptroller, Charles Edike, said on Thursday in Lagos.
He spoke at a one-day conference organised by International Maritime Exhibition and Conference Ltd which focused on the review of the nation’s port concession agreement.
“The Apapa gridlock,” he explained, “has actually affected the customs revenue because it has affected trade.
“People waste hours in the traffic to the detriment of trade growth. You can imagine that we have to use ferry from CMS to come to work in Apapa.”
He said the traffic situation had forced many workers and officers to report late in the afternoon for duty or not to come to work.
Edike, however, expressed confidence that the conference would impact on trade, considering the issues discussed by stakeholders.
“This conference will impact on trade; there is a large volume of trade, the nation grows, the nation develops. If trade shrinks, it also means that the economy will shrink.
“It is handy particularly now and after if the ideas do not die here which means the media has a viral role to play by putting the issues on the front burner.”
On agents’ compliance with the policy of declaring quantity and exact types of imported goods, Edike noted that some agents had complied accordingly.
He, however, threatened that those who failed to comply would be sanctioned.
“There are provisions in our statutes books. We know people that will make innocent errors and we will correct them.
“But people who intentionally want to shortchange the system will not be spared. We will knock them and knock them hard.
“When we get such people, they will pay four times the value as penalty and next time they will not try it again.” (NAN)
•Photo shows a typical Apapa gridlock.
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