IKEJA – The warehouse of the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO) at the Lagos Airport has remained closed, after the clash between clearing agents and officials of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) on Wednesday.
The Spokesman of NAHCO, Mr Sanya Onayoade, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Thursday that the warehouse would remain closed “until the issues that led to the clash are resolved’’.
NAN recalls that the fracas erupted following an alleged manhandling of a senior customs officer at the warehouse by clearing agents.
Trouble started when the Customs Area Comptroller, Mr Taju Olarewaju, attempted to enter NAHCO’s warehouse as part of measures to implement reforms that would make the clearing of goods seamless.
But a misunderstanding between him and the clearing agents resulted to sporadic gunshots, forcing people at the cargo terminal to scamper for their lives.
Business activities were also disrupted at the airport.
Onayoade said that as soon as the crisis were settled by the two parties,
cargo clearing activities would resume at the airport, assuring that the goods in the warehouse were safe.
He appealed to the warring parties to settle their differences in the interest of cargo owners.
NAN correspondent at the NAHCO Shed observed security operatives checking movement of people in and out of the area.
Some anti-riot policemen with an Amoured Personnel Carrier and eight pick-up vans belonging to the NCS were also stationed near the warehouse to forestall further breakdown of law and order.
A senior customs officer, who pleaded anonymity, told NAN
that the NCS was on top of the situation, appealing to all the parties to give peace a chance.
The Public Relations Officer of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents, Mr Emmanuel Njoku, did not pick his call when NAN called to seek his comments on the development. (NAN)