The Tin Can Island Command of the Nigeria Customs Service has said that it is more than ever before committed to strict implementation of Federal Government’s fiscal policies, insisting that stakeholders’ inclusiveness is crucial to successful policy implementation.

Customs Area Controller of the command, Comptroller Abdullahi Musa, who was represented at the recently concluded Nigerian International Maritime, Port and Terminal Conference and Exhibition (NIMPORT 2018), by the Deputy Comptroller in charge of the Enforcement, Deputy Comptroller Dera Nnadi, disclosed that stakeholders’ inclusiveness has remained a cardinal policy of the command.

This according to him is in recognition of the crucial roles played by the stakeholders in successful policy implementation, arguing that the command has over time realised that the stakeholders remain partners in progress in effective, efficient and successful fiscal policy implementation.

He noted that the service primarily is not a policy maker rather saddled with the implementation of government fiscal policies as they relate to revenue collection, checking smuggling and ensuring trade facilitation, among several others, which it must do in conjunction with the various stakeholders and other sister government agencies.

While describing the NIMPORT as a very brilliant idea, he noted that the event had succeeded in bringing together the international trading community in the country for cross- fertilisation of ideas, which he said helps in throwing up issues and challenges in the entire supply chain and proffering solutions to them in the overall interest of the nation.

He commended the organisers of the event for their foresight in providing a platform for stakeholders to interact on these issues and challenges in international trade-related issues, which engender quick and amicable resolution of such issues and by so doing facilitate international trade.

Facilitator of the event, which was its 11th edition, Mr. Fortune Idu had while speaking noted that the annual seminar is aimed at identifying the developmental challenges in the nation’s port industry with a view to enhancing free flow of trade across international frontiers.

He identified high cost of doing business, dilapidated port infrastructure, especially port access roads, multiplicity of government agencies and sundry charges, fees and levies as well as delays associated with the delivery of cargo as major challenges being faced in the industry, which make the seaports inefficient and uncompetitive.

“The primary aim of the two-day event is to find lasting solutions to the myriads of problems and challenges facing the nation’s port industry and we hope that this event would provide a common platform for stakeholders to interact and exchange views with a view to finding solutions to these problems and challenges.

“NIMPORT represents an industry cluster, given that the shipping industry drives over 85 per cent of global trade by volumes and Africa’s over 90 per cent connecting the sea to hinterland. Through this annual event that has become the hallmark for information sharing between governments and the private sector, the industry has continued to receive critical review and developmental challenges addressed and closing industry gaps”, Idu also said.

It was further gathered that the 2018 edition of NIMPORT with the theme: ‘Attracting Investments to Support Ports, Terminals and Logistics Growth’ presented yet another opportunity to reassess the industry, with paper presentations from distinguished guests unveiling opportunities inherent in this all important industry. It also provided an opportunity for all interest groups to air their opinions as delegates listened to industry leaders, whose activities and operations have direct influence on international trade, logistics and supply chain management.

In attendance at the event were representatives of the Federal Ministry of Transport, Nigerian Ports Authority and the Nigerian Maritime Safety Administration Agency, the Nigeria Shippers Council, Nigeria Navy, Nigeria Customs Service, Nigeria Inland Waterways Authority, INTELS, the Lagos Deep Offshore Logistic Base LADOL, Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority NEPZA, and the Nigeria Export Promotion Council NEPC, among others.