The Lagos zonal command of the Nigeria Customs Service, reportedly sealed a new customs bonded terminal established within the Kirikiri Lighter Terminal Command, for purportedly posing administrative threats to the functions of the area command.
Palpable confusion arising from the action disrupted activities at the command Phase 11 operational area and the said terminal between Friday and yesterday, as truckers and their trucks were caught in a melee of chaos, resulting temporary traffic blockade in the area.
Available information indicate that the operations of the bonded warehouse known as Clarion Terminal established within the premises of KLT Command is capable of creating misinformation and wrong suspicion on the basis of questionable releases that might rebound on the area command, whereas the said Clarion Terminal is operated under the Apapa Customs Area Command.
Analysts and industry observers say that whereas the controversial terminal violates the law of decency and order for being established within a command structure and operated by an outsider command, the administrative setting is also capable of creating operational issues and conflicts of identification, amongst others.
Further checks indicate that the terminal gate which was stamped with the seal notice remained locked yesterday, with no vehicular movements allowed in or out. Enforcement operatives of both the KLT and Apapa commands were seen moving around inside and outside the terminal, apparently in attempts to resolve the issue.
Those whose business it is to know posit that it is wrong administratively and operationally to have a terminal within a functional command been run by a different command, noting it is an anomaly, which is capable of creating distrust, disorder and disharmony. While a source close to the office of the National President of the Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents, ANLCA, said the decision of the zonal command to quickly resolve the matter is commendable, the source notes that “it is a serious management error for the customs to have given approval for setting up a command terminal inside another command”, asking “What was the customs management trying to achieve?”
The Zonal Coordinator, Zone ‘A’ Lagos, ACG Kaycee Kekezie said efforts are afoot to resolve the misunderstanding. The coordinator speaking through the zonal public relations officer, Ngozi Okwara, noted that the issue is an internal which is being resolved internally and amicably.
“It is being handled and will be resolved soonest.”