2 Customs Commands Bicker Over Sealing Of A Controversial Terminal

THE Lagos zonal command of the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, has sealed a new Customs bonded terminal established within the Kirikiri Lighter Terminal, KLT, Command, for allegedly posing administrative threats to functions of the area command.

The confusion arising from the action disrupted activities at the command Phase 11 operational area and the said terminal last weekend as truckers and their trucks were caught up in the chaos that followed, resulting in a temporary traffic blockade in the area.

A top official of the NCS, told Vanguard Maritime Report that the terminal established within the premises of the KLT Command is capable of creating misinformation and wrong impression on the stakeholders adding that it could be linked to some questionable releases of trucks that might rebound on the area command, whereas the said Clarion Terminal is operated under the Apapa Customs Area Command.

Industry observers said that being established within the territory and command structure outside its command the setting was capable of creating operational issues and conflicts of identity and interests.

They said it was administratively and operationally wrong to have a terminal within a functional command run by a different command, noting it was an anomaly capable of creating distrust, disorder and disharmony.
Further checks indicated that the terminal gate which was stamped with the seal notice remained locked, yesterday, with no vehicular movements allowed in or out.

Enforcement operatives of both the KLT and Apapa commands of the NCS were seen moving around inside and outside the terminal, apparently in attempts to resolve the issue.

While a source close to the office of the National President of the Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents, ANLCA, said the decision of the NCS South West zonal command to quickly resolve the matter was commendable, the source noted that “it is a serious management error for the Customs to have given approval for setting up a command terminal inside another command”.

Efforts to get the zonal coordinator, ACG Kekezie, to speak on the issue failed as calls put to her telephone line did not connect. She did not also respond to a text message sent to her on the matter, as at the time of this report.

But a source close to her office who spoke in confidence said the matter is “being handled and will be resolved as soon as possible.”

Source: Vanguard Newspaper, June 17, 2020

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