Ports Operator Wants Auto Policy Reviewed

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Imported vehicles at the port

Askanio Russo, executive director of Ports and Terminal Multi-services Limited, has called on the federal government to review the new fiscal measures for automotive industry which is affecting port business adversely

By Maureen Chigbo  |  Sep. 29, 2014 @ 01:00 GMT  |

THE management of the Ports and Terminal Multi-services Limited, PTML, Tin Can Island Ports Lagos, is worried about the new duty regime on vehicles introduced by the federal government under the fiscal policy measures for automotive industry in Nigeria. Askanio Russo, executive director, PTMI, said that the policy has affected their business leading to a dramatic drop in vehicle discharge in the last three months. Calling for a review of the policy, Russo attributed the problem to the non-uniform practices by the Customs Command which oversees the Terminal and Tin Can Island.

He told members of the Senate Committee on Privatisation and Commercialisation who were on oversight visit of the company’s office in Tin Can Island in Lagos, Tuesday, September 16, 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.

Gbenga Obadara
Gbenga Obadara

According to him, 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. 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 said that if this was 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 more than 1,000 ships, more than one million vehicle units, 500,000 containers and 300,000 general cargos.

Responding, Senator Olugbenga Obadara, chairman of the Committee, who led other legislators to visit Nigerdock on Snake Island, Ports and Cargo Handling Services Limited, operators of Terminal C and Tin Can Island Container Terminal Limited, said 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.

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