05 November 2017, Sweetcrude, Port Harcourt – The Comptroller of Customs, Port Harcourt Area II Comand, Onne, Mr. Bashir Abubakar, has assured that seaports in the eastern part of the country are safe for business.
Abubakar gave the assurance when members of Maritime and Energy Media Practitioners of Nigeria MEMPON, paid him a courtesy visit in Onne, Rivers State.
The Customs boss noted that since importers were using crime as an excuse to avoid eastern ports, the command would work round the clock to rid the ports under him of any form of crime and criminality.
He hinted that such was the idea of the Comptroller-General of Customs, Co.l Hameed Ali (Rtd), saying that he would only key into the project.
According to him, Ali has the interest of port users in the country at heart and would not watch anyon to destroy his vision.
He added that inspection of cargo and other practices at the ports were in line with the best international practice based on the Comptroller-General’s directives on ease of doing business.
“Seaports in the eastern part of the country are safe for all kinds of business.
“Importers and other port users from this area who used other ports are not fair to themselves.
“Importing goods through other countries like Cotonou, is against the spirit of patriotism, because all eastern ports including that of Warri in Delta State are safer for business, quality vessels berths here.”
The Onne Customs boss also said plans have reached advanced stage towards making the eastern ports huge revenue pining points among the seaports in the Federation.
He said the plans were in consonance with the Comptroller-General of Customs’ plans to adopt international best practices in doing business in the country’s seaports.
Stressing his stance on objectivity and transparency, he said that he had concluded plans on how to improve the Onne Port.
“The issue of revenue generation would only be a reality, if importers from the area make use of the ports.
“if genuine importers continue to make use of ports elsewhere in the country and outside the country, the dream may be defeated.
“Revenue is key so far as port business is concerned.”
On his part, the President of MEMPON, Dr. Raph John, noted that his group was determined to contribute their quota towards port growth in the country.
He commended the Customs boss on his plans to transform the Onne seaport and other projects.