282 ships carrying several kinds of goods that berthed at the Nigerian shores between 2010 and 2016 cannot be accounted for by the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA.

Meaning, NPA cannot explain what happened to the ships. There is also no trace of record of the vessels. They just disappeared.

The Senate Committee on Customs, Excise and Tariff made this accusation on Monday at a public hearing it organised on smuggling of goods into the country.

The Chairman of the committee, Senator Hope Uzodinma, in his opening remarks, alleged that the NPA failed to properly account for the vessels and their contents over the period.

“We want the Nigerian Ports Authority to come and explain what happened to 282 vessels that disappeared from terminals. We have names of the releasing officers. This shows that there is no security at the terminals,” he said.

But NPA could not even care less about these accusation as there was no representative present at the hearing to respond to the allegations.

Thus, Uzodinma criticised the NPA for not attending the hearing even though the exercise was focused on the activities of the organisation.

According to him, “The primary information at our disposal will suggest that in spite of the comprehensive import supervision scheme, CISS, leakages still abound in the import-export chain,” adding that, “a major area of concern here has to do with improper invoicing by international traders, abuse of free trade zone policies and temporary import permit.”