IKEJA – The Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) Command of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) and clearing agents may have lost over N50 million revenue in Wednesday’s closure of the Lagos airport warehouse.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that from available statistics, the amount was the daily revenue that accrued to the organisations from goods cleared through the airport.
The two organisations engaged in a fracas on Wednesday over what the agents termed the high handedness of the NCS at the cargo section.
Speaking with newsmen, the Chairman of the airport branch of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANCLA), Mr Alloy Igwe, described the continued closure of the terminal as insensitive.
He said that the crisis at the airport was not beyond resolution.
Igwe, however, decried the deployment of military personnel to the cargo section.
He said that some agents sustained injuries during the incident that led to the closure of the terminal.
Igwe said that the alleged attack on the Customs Area Comptroller of the Airport Command was not carried out by licensed clearing agents.
He said that some miscreants could have taken advantage of the crisis between the ANCLA and NCS personnel, to cause disorder.
The chairman said that their major challenge within the terminal was access into the cargo area.
He said that the information making the roundS that the ANLCA forced their way into the bulk breaking area was not true.
“What happened on Wednesday at the cargo terminal was a clear case of professional disagreement between the agents and the NCS, which was not properly handled.
“We sympathise with the NCS Comptroller who was allegedly manhandled.
“We have issues with our operational base, where the exit gate is very porous.
“There is the Eastern access gate into the terminal, which could have given room to hoodlums to take advantage of the situation to carry out their unauthorised activities,” he said.
Igwe noted that the ANCLA members did not go beyond the bulk breaking areas, adding that they only stayed at the examination area.
He, however, described the closure of the cargo warehouse as unnecessary, noting that the consequence of it was that flights are not discharging.
Igwe argued that the clearing agents, NCS personnel and the ground handling companies are incurring unquantifiable losses over the situation.
Meanwhile, an NCS armoured vehicle is still stationed at the entrance into the terminal, to prevent any breakdown of law and order. (NAN)