By Godfrey Bivbere & Prisca Achonu
The Tin-can Island Command of the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, and terminal operators have been accused of conniving to frustrate a presidential directive for the transfer of overtime containers from the port to Ikorodu terminal.
The accusation was made by the National President of the National Council of Managing Director of Licensed Customs Agents, NCMDLCA, Lucky Amiwero, who told Vanguard that they are both embarking on illegal trade with such containers.
Amiwero therefore called on the government to sanction the Customs Area Controller, CAC, of Tin-can Island Command and the management of the terminal operators, noting that their practice has resulted in some overtime containers staying in the port for between four and six years.
According to him, “Customs should not leave all these men who are causing problems in the port to continue unchecked. You do not keep containers that have stayed in the port for four to six years there for people to come and clear.
“Ikorodu terminal is a government warehouse, they pay rent. Custom collects the rent; it is not the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) that collects the rent. It is the Customs that carries the containers there, they have the right, and they call it Government warehouse. The NPA MD is right, and Customs should be penalized because they are not complying. They must penalise them, Tin-can is not complying.
“The presidency should penalise them because the position of the law is very clear. Under the position of section 31, such consignments have to be moved out because they are not the owners; the owners of such consignment are the government. And the government collects cargo permits and which are then moved to Customs warehouse. They call it government warehouse, under section 79, the Customs collect rent.”