By Godwin Oritse
THE Norwegian Fishery Council, NFC, and the Nigeria Customs are currently in talks with a view to creating a platform for the exchange of information on pricing of fish and other perishable cargoes.
Speaking at a meeting in Lagos last week the West and Central Africa Director of the NFC, Mr Trond Kostveit, said that the Council has been inundated with complaints by Nigerian fish importers of the delays in getting their perishable cargoes out of the ports.
Kostveit also said that the longer these perishables stay in unregulated conditions the more they lose their quality.
He disclosed that the Council, in recent past, organized a meeting between the Norwegian and Nigeria Customs Services with a view to creating a common platform to verifying prices from Nigerian importers.
According to Kostveit, one of the objectives of that meeting was to increase the cooperation between the Customs operations of both countries with regards to fish and other perishable exports from Norway.
“By the cooperation, we can assure transparency on the pricing of fish and other perishables and that will make easier for the Nigeria Customs to know if the prices that are declared by Nigerian importers are genuine” he stated.
He disclosed that the first meeting of the Customs of both countries was initiated by the Council adding that such collaboration will continue to take place until a well transparent fish pricing and clearance system is established.
He further disclosed that there was an increase in fish export from Norway to Nigeria, (although, the volume and value were not readily available) adding that additional increase in 2019 has been projected.
Speaking in support of the platform, the Customs Area Controller of the Tincan Island of the Nigeria Customs Service, Comptroller Musa Abdullahi, said that with the creation of the platform, there will be a seamless operation and exchange of information between both organizations.
Musa also said that such seamless operation would enhance quick and smooth clearance of such perishable cargoes from Customs in Lagos.
He said, “Commodity market fluctuates from time to time, it is only through such common verification platform through which information can be exchanged that prices can be verified.”