Long queue of trucks affected by congestion at Lagos port
By John Iwori
The timely intervention of the Customs Area Controller (CAC), Apapa Area 1 Command, Comptroller, Mohammed Jago, prevented what could have led to another fracas between joint association of clearing agents and one of the service at Apapa, Cotecna Destination Inspection Limited (CDIL) over complaints of delays in scanning of containers.
THISDAY learnt that trouble started when freight forwarders stormed the premises of APM Terminals Apapa Limited where CDIL had its scanning site, lamenting that the service provider was not measuring up to standard in scanning of their containers.
It was learnt that when Jago had about the development, he quickly summoned all units’ heads in the command to accompany him to the scene.
On arrival, port users, especially freight forwarders complained to him that they have been operating under such sympathetic condition for long and that they will not allow the service provider to continue to take them for a ride any longer.
The agents said they have been paying huge sums of money to scan their containers occasioned by undue delays which have been culminated in payment of huge demurrage.
They claimed that the terminal charges N1,800 per day for delay, which they are not responsible for.
They also said that when the scanning of containers was introduced, the government gave the impression that it would lead to quick clearance of goods at the ports, adding that the reverse is now the case.
However, Jago appealed to the management of CDIL to see reason with the agents and importers by waiving some of the demurrages after the agents must have booked for scanning.
The Customs chief contended that it was unfair for the agents to pay demurrages on their consignments when they are not responsible for delay.
The CAC appealed to the warring parties to give peace a chance, saying he would not tolerate any act of violence that may lead to breakdown of law and order, which will also lead to loss of revenue in Apapa Area1 Command.