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Customs unveils plan to reduce cargo clearance delay

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The Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Adewale Adeniyi, has voiced optimism about the Time Realise Study significantly reducing delays in cargo clearance and facilitating a 24-hour port operation.

In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos on Monday, Adeniyi underscored that the TRS aims to enhance port efficiency and competitiveness by identifying and eliminating bottlenecks in port operations.

Adeniyi emphasized the importance of comprehending the causes of delays in cargo clearance, identifying areas of obstruction, analyzing the underlying reasons, and implementing effective remedies to streamline the process.

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He stated, “We cannot reduce the time for clearing cargo if we do not understand the causes of delay and where the delays occur. First, we have to identify the costs, the areas of delay, understand the causes, and then apply the appropriate solutions.”

Expressing his aspiration for cargo clearance within a single day, Adeniyi pointed out that the TRS initiative aims to replicate past achievements of clearing cargo within two days into a more efficient one-day process.

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He mentioned that the TRS report is anticipated to be unveiled within six months, once all systems are automated and integrated for optimal operations. Adeniyi assured that the findings of the TRS would be promptly shared with the government and stakeholders as per the set timeline.

Highlighting the customs management’s preparedness to propose necessary legal amendments to address delays caused by existing laws, Adeniyi disclosed that NCS had invited three ministers – the Minister of Finance, the Minister of Industry, Trade, and Investment, and the Minister of Marine and Blue Economy – during the launch of TRS to address delays in cargo clearance.

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