By Innocent Orok
In its efforts to boost export trade in Nigeria, the Nigeria Customs Service ( NCS) has commended the infrastructures put in place by Billington Cargo Terminal, especially the expanse land space measuring over 5.8 hecteres , with 5,960 Square Kilometers warehouse space among other facilities.
The terminal which is located approximately close to ASPAMDA ( Trade Fair Complex), Alaba International Market and Agbara Industrial Estate is accessed from both Mile 2 and Badagry axis, as well as the Lagos – Abijan corridor.
The Customs made the commendation on Thursday when the Controller Exports, Comptroller AY Odusanya who alongside his Officers visited the Export terminal located at Okokomaiko, along the Mile 2, Badagry – Seme border expressway for on the spot assessment.
The elated Comptroller Odusanya who was impressed with the facility promised to do everything possible to make sure export activities at the terminal is hitch free, while urging the terminal operators and exporters to forward all their challenges to him for immediate redress.
When asked if the terminal is having challenges in exports, the Director of Billington Cargo Terminal, Mr Esiekpe Augustine said ” we don’t have any issues, but I will come to see you again to bring some of the challenges faced by our clients to you”. Mr Augustine also said the terminal operates a 24hrs service and they are working inline with the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) truck call up system.
During the interactive session with the terminal workers and exporters, one of the exporters and a client to the terminal, Adekoya Lateef of ALLROUND CARGO COMPANY LIMITED narrated some of the challenges faced by exporters to include hoodlums attacking and extorting them on the roads .
He also complain of some Customs officers at Tin Island Port who always disrupt the export consignments by wanting to carryout another round of examination, despite the fact that Customs officers at the export terminal have already done so. He seek the Exports Controller to intervene.
Also speaking, another exporter I.L.Nofiu of Harlink Investment Limited said that they don’t have problem with the Billing Cargo Terminal as they are satisfied with their services , but urged the Controller to look into issues of other security agencies who are not at the joint of joint examination, but will intercept the cargo at the port demanding for their own round of examination, which according to him causes delays.
Also speaking, Emmanuel Onyeme, the National Publicity Secretary (NPS) of Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) who was at the event commended the Billington Cargo Terminal and the Customs Controller Exports, Comptroller AY Odusanya for encouraging exports to gain foreign exchange for the Country.
He however seek the collaboration of the Lagos State government, Police and Customs to address the issues of harassment and extortions by hoodlums ( Area boys) along the roads to the ports, which has become a serious problem and could hinder the much needed export activities in Nigeria.
Responding, Comptroller Odusanya promised to address the challenges by doing what he can within his powers, promising that at this period the NCS and Nigeria is most interested in export activities to earn foreign exchange for the country and that all hands must be on desk to achieve this feat.