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ANLCA Decries Delay In Issuance Of PAAR

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Some clearing agents
have decried the delay in the issuance of Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) for cargo clearance by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).
The Lilypond Chapter of Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) highlighted the problem in an interview with our correspondent in Lagos, yesterday.
Mr Chuks Njemanze, Chairman of the chapter, said that NCS should extend the 28-day mandatory period for cargo clearance if the delay in the issuance of PAAR continued.
Njemanze said that clearing agents were now running their businesses at loss because of demurrage being paid on cargoes due to inability to get PAAR on time.
Our correspondent reports that PAAR, which was launched in January, is aimed at hastening the clearance of cargoes before their arrival at ports
He said that instead of the PAAR being issued before the arrival of goods, “majority of PAARs are issued after the cargoes have arrived”.
Njemanze said that the current delay in the issuance of PAAR for clearing goods was a negation of the objective of its introduction.
“It slows down activities in cargo clearance and this has caused build ups and tension at the ports.
“The delay has resulted in the payment of huge demurrage to shipping companies and rent to terminal operators by importers and clearing agents.
“ Before, we take delivery of 250 containers at Lilypond daily.
“Right now, we can hardly take delivery of 50 containers because of delay in the issuance of PAAR.
“When PAAR started, the first one came out under six hours.
“Now, it takes a month for a PAAR to come out to clear a good,’’ he said.
Njemanze said that clearing agents were not against the introduction of PAAR, but the delay in its issuance was killing cargo clearance.
He said that some importers might have taken loans from banks to import goods and the continuous delay and payment of demurrage would lead to increase in prices of goods.
Njemanze appealed to the authorities to redeploy more personnel to the PAAR Desk to quicken the issuance of the report.
He said that nobody would give an importer a waiver as a result of delay in the issuance of PAAR.
Mr Charles Agonmuo, the Spokesman for NCS at Lilypond, however, said the delay was a “teething problem” that would soon be over.
Agonmuo blamed it on network problem and promised that the problem would be resolved before the end of March.
According to him, it is a national problem which will soon be over.
He urged clearing agents to bear with the customs as efforts were on to check the problem.

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Fuel Price Hike: PH, Bonny Passengers May Pay N4,000 Before Christmas

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Following the increase in petrol pump price in Rivers State to N230 per liter, Bonny Maritime Transport Association (BMTA) says passengers travelling to Bonny Island from Port Harcourt may have to pay N4,000 each before Christmas.
The Association said boat operators along Bonny routes are facing difficulties in getting petrol to power their boats to the Island.
BMTA said the petroleum pump price has also forced the prices of spare parts beyond the reach of the poor.
Disclosing this to The In Port Harcourt in a telephone interview, Marine Safety Officer, BMTA, Comrade Kim Dimkpa,  expressed regret that passengers to the Island are passing through difficulties, saying since the petroleum pump price hike, passengers now pay N3,000 to Bonny
He insisted that if the pump price is not checked, the Association would be forced to increase the fair to N4,000 before Christmas.
Dimkpa said in the past when the pump price were N150 per liter, fair to Bonny was N2,000 to ,N2,500 per passenger.
The Safety Officer appealed to relevant government agencies responsible for control of the pump price to come to the aid of the masses in Nigerian by ensuring that the price remains affordable.
“I call on the NNPC, and other relevant agencies for the control of petroleum pump price to assist the masses and reduce the price to N150 per litre to save lives.
“Boat operators, bus drivers and other end users depend daily on the product to survive.
“Our leaders are not helping matters, the masses are dying everyday of economic hardships, the rich are getting richer every day, while the poor masses are dying of hunger and starvation in the midst of plenty”, Dimkpa said.
He appealed to State Governors and other stakeholders in the industry to intervene in reverting to the old pump price of N150 per liter for consumers.

By: Chinedu Wosu

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