The Nigeria Customs Service has said that it never sanctioned the collection of rents on overtime cargoes transferred to the Ikorodu Government Warehouse, saying that the terminal operators; SAPID Agencies Limited acted on its own without informing Customs.
Speaking with DAILY TREND NEWS at the weekend, Customs Area Controller in charge of Ikorodu Terminal, Assistant Comptroller Kidda.H. said that the leadership of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) never brought their challenges with SAPID to his attention.
SAPID Agencies Limited is technical partners to Nigeria Customs Service on operations of the Ikorodu terminal.
The company recently introduced collection of N5,000 per day as rents on overtime cargoes transferred to the terminal, a decision which angered Licensed Customs agents at the terminal.
Speaking on the development, Compt Kidda said SAPID never discussed with Customs before going ahead to charge such money, adding that the service is not aware it.
“Customs is not the one that slammed rent charges on overtime cargoes, and it would be wrong for you to say ‘Customs Slam Rent on Cargoes, in the debit note that I saw, it never indicated that Customs was the one collecting the money”
“The terminal operator; SAPID should be held responsible because they went ahead to start charging rent without even informing us. In the handling charges and Customs examination they are also collecting from agents, we never conduct any examination at Ikorodu, we dont know where they get all that”
“I espect that the ANLCA Chairman would come to me and inform me of these challenges, but they did not tell me, I just saw this in the press, we are not aware SAPID was collecting such money” he said
Kidda said the matter is now being looked into and addressed by the Zonal headquarters of the service.
SAPID Agencies Limited allegedly increased collection of its handling charges from N45,000 in 2017 to N541,000 in 2020.
The terminal is equally charging N123,000 for Customs examination even though the clearing agents claimed that no customs examination is done at the terminal after it is already carried out at mother port.
Already, the national secretariat of ANLCA has kicked against the collection of rent at the terminal.
In a protest letter dated 11th of June 2020 addressed to the Zonal Cordinator of Customs in Yaba Lagos and signed by National Secretary of ANLCA, Alhaji Babatunde Mukaila, the association vowed to resist such collection.