BY DAPO OLAWUNI
The Nigeria Customs Service has evacuated all overtime and abandoned containers from the biggest roll-on Roll-off terminal in Lagos; PTML Terminal.
DAILY TREND NEWS gathered exclusively that the overtime containers were inspected by Customs between the month of March and April 2020 when the Customs Committee on Overtime Cargoes visited the port.
In February 2020, the terminal had raised an alarm that not less than 2,000 cargoes were abandoned inside its facility as a result of the failed auction system of the Nigeria Customs Service.
The abandoned containers allegedly occupied about 30% yard space inside the terminal, thereby disturbing utilisation of the terminal for commercial purposes.
In a chat with DAILY TREND NEWS on Monday, Terminal Manager of PTML Terminals Lagos, Mr Tunde Keshinro confirmed that the overtime cargoes have been evacuated by the customs.
He said the containers have been transferred to Ikorodu government warehouse.
Keshinto said “PTML already transferred overtime cargo to Ikorodu. Overtime Cargoes at PTML were examined by Customs during the months of March and April, 2020”
Also, a top management executive of Grimaldi Shipping, operators of PTML Terminal, Mr Nitin Senan also confirmed to our correspondent that overtime cargo has been transferred to Ikorodu already.
Speaking with DAILY TREND NEWS at the weekend, Public Relations Officer of PTML Command of Nigeria Customs Service, Yakubu Muhammed confirmed that the committee on overtime cargoes “Came to PTML, they finished last month and went to Tin Can”
“The committee is headed by Comptroller of Overtime and Auction, they were sent from the headquarters, they have submitted their report back”
Our correspondent gathered that the Customs Auction Committee had moved to the Tin Can Island Port where it already took stock of all abandoned and overtime containers within the four terminals inside the port.
Public Relations Officer of the command, Uche Ejesieme confirmed that the command has compiled the list of overtime cargoes at all the terminals for evacuation.
He said that the containers would be evacuated by barges as the Customs Area Comptroller, Musa Baba Abdullahi has already secured approval from the Headquarters.
“Arrangement is beginning to get at advance stage for the evacuation of these overtime containers. What we are doing now is to get complete statistics for the four terminals here; and we have gotten a comprehensive list of all such categories of containers awaiting further directives.
“Part of what we have done as a command, which has also gotten provisional approval, is the issue of barge operations because road infrastructure remains a challenge for now even though we are beginning to see that government is doing something serious about the road” he said
However, importers and clearing agents who spoke with our correspondent have appealed to the Nigeria Customs Service for a buy-back scheme of the overtime containers.