Freight agents have fingered terminal operators in Lagos ports as culpable for the abandonment of overtime cargoes at Lagos ports, instead of conveying them to the Ikorodu terminal.
Terminal operators drive to collect storage charges on the consignments have seen the companies unwilling to move the containers to the designated terminal for overtime cargoes in Ikorodu.
Freight forwarders made this known during a port stakeholders meeting on Monday at Tin Can Island Port (TCIP) with the Customs headquarters Overtime Clearance Committee led by Comptroller Abubakar Sanusi, the Controller in-charge of Auction and Overtime Unit and Area Controller of TCIP, Comptroller Olakunle Oloyede present.
Speaking at the meeting, the Chairman of African Association of Professional Freight Forwarders and Logistics of Nigeria (APFFLON), Tin Can Chapter, Mr. Emeka Nwosu lamented that a similar exercise was carried out over 4 years ago, with the problem persists till date.
“Over 4 years ago we had a similar exercise like this, but up till now the overtime containers examined are still in the port and they will still form part of the containers to be examined under this exercise.”
“The main challenge in moving overtime containers are the terminal operators. They vehemently refused to move overtime cargoes to government designated warehouses in Ikorodu because they’re bent on collecting rent on the containers not minding the time spent,” Nwosu said.
Similarly, the Chairman, National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents (NCMDLCA), Fwdr. Victor Edemed reechoed the views of the APFFLON Chairman, even as he cited provisions of Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA) and concession agreement between the port operators and the federal government.
In his remarks, Comptroller Oloyode equally expressed his disappointment on the conduct of terminal operators on their disregard of government orders and the provisions of CEMA.
He also warned that he wouldn’t fail to deal decisively with any operator that fails to adhere to the government order and threatened to withdraw all personnel attached to such terminals.
Customs would be carrying out 100% examination on all overtime cargoes currently littering various seaports across Lagos as the team sent from the headquarters, was given a mandate to examine all overtime cargoes within 2-weeks and send back a report for immediate action.