By DAPO OLAWUNI
Stakeholders at the Ikorodu Government Warehouse in Lagos have raised an alarm of containers “flying” within the terminal, even when such containers are already being processed for delivery.
Container flying is a term used for missing containers at the ports.
Speaking with DAILY TREND under anonymity, an executive of one of the freight forwarding associations operating at the terminal stated that there has been several cases of missing containers at Ikorodu terminal which has been reported to their National Secretariat.
He however alleged that nothing is being done about it by the association leaders and even the Nigeria Customs Service and other concerned authorities.
“A lot of complaints have been coming from here to our National Secretariat about containers missing in Ikorodu, most of these complaints are true, containers are actually missing, I am currently facing one of such cases as we speak”
“They asked us to go to main port to dispatch the container because that was where duty was paid, but before we got back, the container was no longer there, the case is on ground right now” another source told our correspondent.
The freight forwarders appealed to the Nigeria Customs Service to lift embargo on transfer of containers to Ikorodu terminal in order to bring life back to the terminal which is gradually going moribund.
“When we begin to have transfer of containers to Ikorodu terminal, all these cases of missing containers would stop” the highly places association member said.
Responding to inquiries by DAILY TREND on the allegation of missing containers, Acting National President of Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) Dr Kayode Farinto confirmed that the association has been receiving complaints of missing containers at Ikorodu terminal.
Dr Farinto however said that these complaints were not lodged formally.
“We received complaints but no one has come forward to corroborate it, hence ,we want to assume it has not happened. Meanwhile, we are conducting our own investigation on the matter” he said
Recall that the ANLCA recently appointed Mr Wale Cole as the Senior Special Adviser to it’s National President on all government warehouses with a sub-coordinator role as Presidential Monitoring Task Force in Western Zone for all Government Warehouses.
Wale Cole while speaking with DAILY TREND said he has a seating office at Ikorodu for over a year now and that he has not heard of any illegal movement of containers.
“The customs have started doing auction online, and they took some RoRo vehicles on auction, so, if any container is missing, it must have been those allocated by Customs in Abuja for auction, I am sure if this”
“Apart from that, there is no illegal moving of containers at Ikorodu, unless self transfer which passes through the due process before loading”
While speaking with journalists recently, he assured that he would look into all anomalies and resolve challenges of members at government warehouses and bonded terminals.
“My role is to support all chapters in clearing process, resolve hinderances in cargo clearance and anywhere our attention is called to.
“We can monitor anywhere when we get our information, but we would carry any Chairman in charge of such areas along”
Chairman of ANLCA at Ikorodu chapter, Comrade Lawal Jimoh also debunked the allegations, describing it as empty blackmail.
“According to him, containers are not missing in Ikorodu and it is not possible for anyone to fly containers from here. All containers that are at Ikorodu terminal have already been gazetted, except those for self clearance, even at that, no container can be stolen from here just like that” he said
Comrade Jimoh recently embarked on a vanguard to ensure that overtime containers are transferred to Ikorodu terminal in order to keep all agents busy and meet their means of livelihood.
In a chat with our correspondent, he assured that there is an existing empty space that can take up to 8,000 containers at the Ikorodu warehouse.