By Etuka Sunday
Management of the Ports & Terminal Multi-services Limited (PTML), Tin Can Island Ports Lagos, has decried the new duty regime on vehicles introduced by the Federal Government under the fiscal Policy measures for Automotive industry in Nigeria and has called for a review.
Receiving the Senate Committee On Privatization and Commercialization during an oversight visit by members of the Committee to its offices at Tin Can Island Port on Tuesday, the company’s Executive Director, Mr. Askanio Russo alleged that because of the policy, the Terminal in the last three months has recorded a dramatic drop in vehicles discharged.
In a statement by the Head, Public Communications, BPE, Chigbo Anichebe, He attributed this to the non-uniform practices by the Customs Command which oversees the Terminal and Tin Can Island.
The statement quoted the ED to have alleged that the Customs uses different Ex-Factory prices and valuation assessment for used vehicles discharged at the Terminal different from that obtained at other Tin Can Island terminals.
In addition, he said there was disparity in tariff interpretation to the extent that the clearance of vehicles which would be impossible at the Terminal is allowed at the other terminals and that there was a disparity in control mechanisms at the two points.
He informed the Committee members that as a result of the uneven and inconsistent application of the new duty regime by the Customs, the Terminal had recorded a huge diversion of traffic to its competing Terminals in Tin Can Island.
Russo lamented that if not checked; it would threaten the successful Private Public Partnership (PPP) between the Federal Government and the investors as well as affect the revenues accruing to the government.
Despite the challenges, he said since inception, the Terminal had handled over 1,000 ships, over one million vehicle units, 500,000 containers and 300,000 general cargos.
Responding, the Chairman of the Committee, Senator Olugbenga Obadara said the the Committee would intervene to ensure that the Terminal Operators were given equal opportunity.
PTML is a green field multi-purpose Port Terminal developed by Grimaldi Group in 2005 under a Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) agreement. It is the biggest RO/RO Multipurpose Terminal in West Africa.
The Committee members also visited Nigerdock on Snake Island, Ports & Cargo Handling Services Limited, Operators of Terminal C and Tin Can Island Container Terminal Limited