The Vice President, Arc Mohammed Namadi Sambo, has directed the Nigeria Customs Service to clear all containers concerning the National Integrated Power Project (NIPP) and other power equipment at various Ports in the country.
Speaking at a meeting on Risk Assessment Report (RAR) comprising operators of shipping companies, terminal operators, Nigeria Customs Service and other stakeholders today in Abuja, Arc Sambo decried the unnecessary delays of goods at the countryâ€™s Ports and also directed that all payment should be made to clear the goods.
He said the problems militating against clearance of goods at the Ports and shipping companies have caused inadequate equipment supply for the NIPP projects and unnecessary sufferings on Nigerians. He stated that the cost of clearing goods at Ports has given rise to high cost of living in the country and Nigerians should not suffer because of administrative problems.
He condemned the charge of demurrage by the Nigeria Customs, saying that "once there is a delay and there is demurrage cost on goods the importers add that value to the Nigerian users and this is causing serious problems in our economy. This Government does not want people to spend more for doing business."
He ordered the Central Bank of Nigeria to settle indemnity problems faced by some shipping companies within one week, noting that there is $5.6 billion available for power project. He said Risk Assessment Report (RAR) which was introduced for some years now has become a menace and brought down the effectiveness of shipping processes in the country.
In his contribution, the representative of Nigeria Custom Service clarified that there was no problem from the Custom Service as most of the delay was caused by late arrival of goods as they have ensured immediate release of all goods such as raw materials, vehicles and NIPP equipment.
In a related development, the Vice President also held a meeting on gas supply for NIPP projects in State House, Abuja today. He said the purpose of convening the meeting was to clear all impediments on power generation in the country.
He said there was need to address the issue of gas supply to power plant as adequate gas is needed to power new power plants, specifically units to be commissioned in December such as Sapele, Alaoji and Oloronshogo power plants that will add almost 650 megawatts to the national grid.
He charged the stakeholders to come up with ideas and measures to increase the volume of gas as according to the VP, within the next two to three years there may be shortage of gas to generate power.