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HomeBusinessNigeria may realise N500 bln from overtime cargoes

Nigeria may realise N500 bln from overtime cargoes

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The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) may rake in over N500 billion from over 8,000 overtime cargoes that are trapped at the port.

According to sources at the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC), the government should set a benchmark for Customs in the auctioning of the abandoned containers so that nobody, including the importers and government officials, would be able to shortchange the nation.

A senior official at the NSC said the Minister of Finance should ensure that none of the containers must be auctioned for less than 50 percent of its declared value and content.

“Our experience is that most of the importers of this overtime containers are waiting in the wing. They want a situation whereby the goods would be returned to them at no extra cost.

“Since nobody can prevent them from participating in the auction and they already know the value of the goods in each of the containers they brought to the country, it is left for the Minister of Finance to set a bench mark for them to buy.

“For instance, if it becomes a rule that the auction price of any of the containers is not lower than 50 percent of the value of goods inside each of the containers, the government will realise about N500 billion from over 8,500 abandoned containers currently trapped inside the ports across the country.

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To clear a 20ft container from the port, a shipper would pay N1million as surface duty with extra charges of about N800,000 to cover VAT and others

For 40ft container, importers pay about N2 million as surface duty with about N800,000 for additional charges totalling N2.8 million.

Sources at the Shippers Council said there are over 8,500 overtime cargoes abandoned at the various  ports across the country,  and urged the leadership of Customs to use the opportunity of the fast approaching auction to free up space at the port, reduce the gridlock and boost government revenue.

According to him, the number of abandoned containers in the ports are more than 7,500 has being peddled by some people.

“As the economic regulator of the port, we have our records and they are open. The fact is that there are over 7,500 overtime containers littering the seaports.

“They are about 8,500 in number that need to be auctioned immediately, if the owners are not coming forward to pay the necessary government duty attached to their goods,” the source said.

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