The Kirikiri Lighter Terminal (KLT) is capable of handling 4000 TEUs but functions lower than ten percent of its full capacity as a result of underutilization of its potentials, the Customs Area Controller (CAC), KLT Command, Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Comptroller Timinaldi Bomodi has said.
Bomodi who disclosed this while playing host to the newly elected executives of Maritime Reporters Association of Nigeria (MARAN) who paid him a courtesy visit in his office at Apapa, Lagos recently noted that the KLT offers more opportunities in terms of space, proximity and access to the port for the facilitation of export and import in and out of the seaports in Lagos.
According to the Customs Chief, the KLT is the most strategic port in Lagos taking into account the crucial role of helping to decongest the ports by providing space in the heyday of cargo congestion.
As part of the measures to address the challenge, he revealed that he has made contact with the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), terminal operators, shipping companies and other stakeholders on the need to move cargo into the terminal in the months ahead.
His words: “KLT is the most strategic port in the congestion era. KLT functioned as a buoy for the trapped cargo. KLT has a lot of underutilized space and offers more access for cargo to come in and go out of the ports. KLT is functioning less than 10 percent of its capacity of 4000 TEUs. It is not good the underutilization of such a vital national asset which could play a crucial role in promotion of export in the country.
“We have been telling NPA and terminal operators that we need to move cargo to the port. Shipping companies will see wisdom bringing their cargo here. It makes a lot of economic sense. KLT offers capacity for the Nigeria Customs to generate more revenue at a time the nation needs for revenue”.
He revealed that the port has the capacity and facilities to handle barges that bring containers from Tin Can Island Port and is profitable for terminal operators.
According to Bomodi, there are a lot of challenges importers and exporters face because of infrastructure decay in and around the ports.
He noted that export potentials of Nigeria are huge but the country lacks information/data, internal logistics system, payment platforms and other infrastructure that could help her achieve this.
“For export to thrive, Nigerians need information on goods to export. But there is lack of information; internal logistics system is not efficient. Payment platforms are not in existence. Export potentials are huge in Nigeria but where are the infrastructure to support it?”, he added.
The President of MARAN, Mr. Godfrey Bivbere had earlier his remarks said the purpose of the visit was to intimate the CAC on the activities of the association and partner with the command to boost its operations.