Barely seven days after the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC) urged terminal operators at the nation’s seaports to embrace automation, clearing agents have raised the alarm over alleged extortion at one of the container terminals, Tin-Can Island Container Terminal, (TICT) at Tin Can Island Port Complex, Apapa.
Recall that the executive secretary of the council, Barrister Hassan Bello, last week called on terminal operators to embrace automation system for cargo clearance when he visited some concessionaires in Lagos.
According to him, adoption of automation would improve cargo clearance, minimise the current gridlock being experienced in Apapa and reduce human traffic at the terminals.
But, contrary to the directive of the executive secretary, clearing agents yesterday raised the alarm of alleged extortion by staff of TICT. They, however, called for automation of activities of the terminal operator.
Speaking to LEADERSHIP on the development, secretary, National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Tincan Island Chapter, Mr. Emeka Nwosu stated that there had been series of complaints in the past by clearing agents over high level of extortion and cumbersome state of processing documents at TICT.
Nwosu informed that as a result of that, the leadership of Association of Nigerian Licenced Customs Agents (ANLCA) and NAGAFF met over the weekend and resolved to stop operation at the concessionaire’s Billing and Terminal Delivery Order office.
Speaking in the same vein, a chieftain of the ANLCA, Mr. Dele Iboma also made further allegation of bribe against TICT. “We discovered that without parting with money, you cannot do any job here. A security man was caught this morning red handed for collecting bribe from an agent before action can be taken in processing his document.
“We caught him in the action and drew the attention of the CSO and the supervisor and they confronted him, the money was recovered from him and returned to the agents. In addition to that, TICT is still operating manually instead of going electronic in the modern days of today. That is why this human contact is encouraging corruption. They don’t have POS machines, everything that is done here has to do with money and it encourages corruption,” he stated.
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