Lagos State Pockets Shippers Council, Begins Investigation Into Death of Clearing Agent At Kirikiri Terminal

By DAPO OLAWUNI

Ahead of the Nigerian Shippers Council as port economic regulator, the Lagos State Government through the Lagos State Safety Commission may have commenced Investigations with a view to sanction erring terminal operator; Joatelim Logistics Limited over the death of a clearing agent inside its terminal last week.

Mr Kennedy Ikechukwu, a member of Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) was killed by a crane operator at Joatelim Terminal located at Kirikiri phase 1 last week while trying to maneuver his way inside the terminal.

Even though the Nigerian Shippers Council is supposed to have its staff stationed at every of the port terminals, it is still unclear what actions have been taken by the Council since the incident occurred.

Our correspondent learnt that licensed customs agents operating at the terminal had written several letters to the Nigerian Shippers Council in the past to report the poor working condition of the terminal but no action was taken by the economic regulator.

The Lagos State Safety Commission was inaugurated on the 5th of May 2009 as an office of Public Safety under the Ministry of Special Duties to set safety standards for all sectors involved in the socio-economic activities in the state.

A private consultant, Mr James Kitiya, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of KitiEnergy and Consulting Limited confirmed to DAILY TREND NEWS that the government had approached him to draw-up an incident and accident review on the sad event.

KitiEnergy is a private company that specialises in buying and selling of heavy duty cranes for port operations, hiring, leasing and training of operators for handling these equipment.

Speaking with our correspondent, Mr Kitiya expressed shock that the terminal operator located at Kirikiri phase 1, is only waking up now after the death of a licensed customs agent.

“How would you buy a crane for N150milion and you cannot train somebody that would operate it, this does not make sense.

“The deceased agent was not having any PPE on his body when he died, it is compulsory in terminal operations that anyone coming into your terminal, either a clearing agent, dockworkers or not, they must be on their PPE, this would make it easier for the operative to sight them because of the reflective.

“These are part of the training that they (terminal operator) ought to have given to their operators.

“The Lagos State Safety Commission called me in regards to the incident for me to write a report. We are meeting this week over the issue. There is need to train the operators of these cranes and issue them licenses.

“The government wants us to write incident and accident review, they cannot detect what happened by themselves, we are the ones that would detect it for the government” Kitiya stated

The crane expert reasoned that it could be that the machine does not have side mirrors, this was why it knocked down the clearing agent and climbed over his body, thereby killing him.

Meanwhile, Chairman of ANLCA Kirikiri Chapter, Mr Goddy Sewa Soleji confirmed to journalists on Tuesday that the terminal has been reopened on Monday after being shutdown for one week.

He said the terminal operator has agreed to pay N8million as compensation to the family of the deceased agent.

Comrade Soleji had lamented that the association had written several letters to the Nigerian Shippers Council on several occasions about the poor state of the terminal but no action was taken by the economic regulator.

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