A logistics expert and lecturer at the Lagos Business School (LBS), Dr. Frank Ojadi, has said that ships that would call at the Lekki deep seaport located at the Lekki Free Trade Zone, when completed, would not experience delay associated with the issuance of rotation number by Customs to shipping lines.
Port authorities especially the customs issues rotation number to a vessel to indicate its turn for berthing for loading or unloading. Chairman, Shipping Association of Nigeria (SAN), Mr. Val Usifoh had recently noted that delay in the issuance of rotation number by customs was one of the factors responsible for the long period it takes an importer to take delivery of his container once a ship arrives at the port.
According to Usifoh, it takes an average of 20 days for an importer to get his container off the ship once a vessel arrives the port. On the other hand, free trade zones are special economic zones where goods may land, be handled, manufactured and exported with less bureaucratic bottlenecks.
Speaking on “The imperatives of deep seaports in Nigeria: A case study of Lekki Deep Seaport” during a training program organised by the Shipping Correspondents Association of Nigeria (SCAN) in Lagos, Ojadi said rotation number would be issued by operators of the free trade zone in place of customs, thereby eliminating unnecessary bottlenecks and delays.
He said, “No vessel coming to the free trade zone will be stopped by the Customs in the high sea for search. They cannot, because it is destined for the free trade zone and what that means is that the whole thing about rotation number would not play any role there because it has to be administered by the operators of the zone.”