By DAPO OLAWUNI
Even though Nigerian ports were usually associated with notoriety, especially the Tin Can Island Port, licensed customs agents have testified that the narrative has changed completely as the ports are now safe to transact business.
In the bid to ensure port security in line with International Ships and Ports Facility (ISPS) code, the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) recently embarked on fencing of the ports in order to keep out unwanted elements.
Speaking with DAILY TREND NEWS recently, a senior licensed customs agent, Mr. Charles Uba stated that licensed customs agents engage in movement of cash daily in order to transact business at the port.
Mr Uba, a member of Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) at Tin Can Island Chapter said “The rate of crime at the Tin Can Island port has reduced drastically, before now, we used to have bad boys using bike to snatch bags from people coming from the bank, the next thing, you would see them under Liverpool bridge”
“But now, going to the bank to carry out transactions is safe”
“The bad boys can no longer have easy entry and exit because the port have been barricaded, before they can get to second gate, people must have raised alarm and they would be apprehended”
“This is a business that requires cash handling, we handle cash everyday, a transporter that you want to engage would require cash, he would not accept transfer from you”
Also speaking, a licensed customs agent, Mr Taiwo Ajele argued that the port is supposed to be a security area, adding that there is nothing wrong in NPA profiling people entering the port.
He stressed that the port security cannot be overemphasized.
“We have so many unwanted elements coming into the port area, you would see people who are hawking food and okada riders inside the port” he said