By DAPO OLAWUNI
The National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) has accused officers of the Nigeria Customs Service, Ikorodu Terminal of corruption, saying that huge rents collected on cargoes for 14years have not been accounted for.
In a press statement issued in Lagos at the weekend and signed by NAGAFF National PRO, Mr Stanley Ezenga, the association called on the Board of the Nigeria Customs Service to investigate the atrocities being committed at the Ikorodu terminal.
NAGAFF said there has been corruption associated with the issue of rents and dues on containenzed cargoes at the lkorodu Terminal, especially since 2007 when massive movements of containers to the place commenced.
“Worried by the raging threat to the operations of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) at the lkorodu Terminal] Government Warehouse, we wish to use this medium to call on the Board of the Nigeria Customs Service to urgently restore the Terminal/ Government Warehouse to its original masterplan, to meet the aspirations and yeamings of industry stakeholders and Nigerians in general”
“As the frontline Freight Forwarding Association, we are not pleased that the seeming failure of the Customs to perform its statutory responsibilities has left the lkorodu Terminal/Government Warehouse in a state, where expired and decomposed overtime or seized goods, abandoned goods, litter everywhere, constituting both environmental and health hazards to officers and men of the Service, as well as members of the community in general”
“The place has become abode for life-threatening reptiles like alligators, snakes etc”
“Our Assocjation is therefore imploring the Board of the NOS to invoke Sections 4. 5, 6, 12, 13 and 97 of the Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA) Cap 45, LPN 2004. as amended which jointly empowered the Board to give direction in the management and administration of the Service, as well as the Legal Notice No 700 of 1959, which defined what Government Warehouse and its establishment stands to serve and protect”
“We wish to particularly point the attention of the Customs Board to Section 31 ot CEMA as amended, which spells out the cargo dwell time at Port Terminals or Government approved Warehouse, and the required due time publication to enable owners of such goods to take delivery, with its attendant forfeiture of such goods to the Government if they fail to do so”
“Another source of concern to us is the corruption associated with the issue of rents and dues on containenzed cargoes at the lkorodu Terminal/Government Warehouse, especially ‘since 2007 when massive movements of containers to the place commenced”
“We want the Board to launch a massive inquiry to unravel where the huge rents and dues meant for the Government of Nigeria have entered, in the last 14 years”