Bashir Adewale Adeniyi, the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), has officially launched a committee on Disposal of Overtime Cargo in the nation’s capital, in response to the new Customs Act’s provisions that empower the Nigeria Customs Service to dispose of the containers that have exceeded their allotted time within the Nigerian ports.

The committee is chaired by a senior officer from the Nigeria Customs Service and has as its members officials from the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, the Federal Ministry of Finance, the Nigerian Police Force, the Department of State Service (DSS), Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), the National Agency for Food, Drugs and Control, as well as representatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, and the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, among others.

This development will provide some relief to stakeholders in the nation’s maritime sector, who have complained of space unavailability at the ports.

“It’s worth noting that approximately six months ago, the new NCS Act received the former President Mohammed Buhari’s signature, ushering in substantial modifications to the previous protocols governing the disposal of overtime cargo.

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“The Act also stipulates that goods must be disposed of through public auction or tender, to be widely publicized in advance through national newspapers, television, and the service’s official website,” Comptroller-General, NCS said on X, formerly Twitter.

Reacting to the development, Durowaiye Ayodele, general manager of MD’s office said the move came as a relief to stakeholders in the maritime industry, noting that over 7,000 overtime containers have remained for years at the ports.

“We have containers that have been there for over ten years, occupying economic space for which we are unable to dispose of. So, this is a significant relief for our operations. We are delighted that we have reached a point where we can begin to remove some of these lingering containers and overdue cargo from the port,” Ayodele said.

Greg Itotoh, Deputy Comptroller General of Customs, in charge of Human Resources Development, said with the support of the Nigerian Ports Authority, the new drive will ensure more streamlined trade operations in the country.