…As Exporters Laments Loss of 6,000 Tons of Cocoa to Cargo Pilfering
The newly established Lilypond Export Command of Nigeria Customs Service has processed non-oil export with a total tonnage of 118,184.96.
According to the Controller of the command, Comptroller Babandede Mohammed who addressed the press on Wednesday, available trade statistics show that the command processed export goods worth N86,426,279,070.59 which is equivalent to free-on-board value (FOB) of $204,656,119.04.
This is even as exporters have commended Compt Babandede for coming to their rescue, especially as it concerns theft and pilfering of export cargoes.
Exporters lost more than 600metric tonns of Cocoa in 2017 alone due to theft and pilfering through the traffic jam.
Meanwhile, the Controller noted that the items processed are agricultural produce like Cocoa Beans, Cashew Nuts, Sesame seeds, Hibiscus flower, Soya beans and Ginger as well as mineral resources such as Lithium Ore, Manganese Ore, and Zircon Sand to mention but a few.
He added that manufactured goods exported include Instant Noodles, Cosmetics, Cigarettes and Beverages.
Compt. Babandede hinted that despite Lilypond being a new command, it has recorded some achievements.
According to him, the command has drastically reduced delays in export processing and makes the business of export effective and efficient since all agencies are domiciled in one place as a one-stop shop.
He also stated that It has reduced congestion along the access roads to the port and also inside the port terminals, giving space for Import containers.
“It has reduced cost of Export business. It has reduced the issue of contract cancellation.
“The issue of pilfering of cargo has been eliminated. Released containers can access the port within 48hrs for loading onto awaiting vessels. The command in collaboration with shipping lines have reduced the turnaround time of a vessel which decreases the cost of shipping.
“Lilypond Export Command has completely erased the issue of rejection and return of our Agro-produce which is usually caused by delay and lack of requisite phytosanitary certificates,” he stated.
On interagency collaboration/stakeholders engagements, the controller hinted that the command has excellent inter-agency collaboration with other government agencies.
He appreciated the Nigerian Ports Authority for coming up with the concept of Export Processing Terminals (EPTs) and providing all the necessary support to the Command.
The controller also commended the patriotic role of other sister agencies who have always partnered with him in the quest to effectively perform the statutory functions in compliance with extant laws.
“Since the establishment of this Command, I have been meeting with various stakeholders comprising Terminal Operators, Exporters, Licensed Agents, Freight Forwarders, and Shipping Lines.
“May I use this medium to reassure our stakeholders that Lilypond Export Command will continue to facilitate their legitimate trade.
“On this note, I want to humbly extend my profound appreciation to the CGC, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd.) CFR and his Management team for their continuous support.
“I also want to commend my officers and men of the command for their contributions to the successes achieved so far and appeal to them to double their efforts in order to achieve greater heights in the coming months,” he said.
Also speaking, Mr Afolabi Hakeem representing Starlink Global and Ideal Limited lamented that the company, a frontline agro exporter Lost more than 600metric tonns of Cocoa in 2017 alone due to theft and pilfering through the traffic jam.
He said “The truck drivers connive with others and stole 600mt of our Cocoa for 2017 and other years until we had Lillypond Export command, this command has been our rescuer”