Customs warns agents against carrying out protests at ports


Yusuf Bashar

Controller, Tin Can Island Command of the Nigeria Customs Service, Yusuf Bashar has urged clearing agents to shun unnecessary violent protests at the port.

Bahar who gave the advise recently at the inauguration ceremony of the Tin Can Island Chapter of the International Freight Forwarders Association. He said agents should express their grievances, if any, through viable communication with relevant government agencies.

Represented by Deputy Controller in charge of Enforcement, Dera Nnadi, Bashar also cautioned the agents against indiscriminate dropping of containers on port access roads and illegal parking of vehicles around the port area.

He urged the agents to collaborate with customs and other agencies in ensuring that port infrastructures, especially the roads are maintained.

“Everybody has the right to protest, but the days of going on the streets to protest violently are gone, today we encourage everybody to initiate their protest through viable communication with relevant government agencies.

“We seek your collaboration in ensuring that port infrastructures are maintained, while we are urging relevant government agencies to maintain access road to the port, we also encourage you to talk to your members to park their vehicles appropriately, there is no need doing double parking, there is no need burning tyres on the road because they deplete the road. There is also no need dropping your containers indiscriminately on the road, we should help government to achieve its objectives,” he said.

The Customs boss attributed the success recorded from the revenue profile of the command to efforts of all stakeholders.

National President of IFFA, Sam Onyemelukwe assured that his members will collaborate with the federal government in meeting its expectations from the port and to ensure success in ease of doing business.

According to him, IFFA was established to bring about change and innovation in the sector. He described the association as an elitist association that has decided to come down to chapter level to look at the lacuna and to institutionalise global best practice.

“We are ready to support all stakeholders in the port as our members are active practitioners that move huge tonnage of cargoes annually from Nigeria and other parts of the world. We want to ensure government target in the maritime industry is met.

“The drive to establish chapters was aimed at building adequate capacity to support federal government to achieve its objectives of economic diversification and ease of doing business in the maritime sector,” he said.

In his inaugural speech, IFFA Tin Can Island chapter Chairman, Ojo Peter Akintoye assured that the newly inducted executives of the chapter association will work to improve the lot of its members as well as other stakeholders in the maritime industry.

“This is not a talk based administration, neither is it a story telling nor promise making administration, we are here to work and it starts immediately.

“My team members have the relevant experience to address the challenge faced by agents at Tin Can Port.

“Together we would deliver the long awaited ease of doing business in the port where all stakeholders involved in the value chain are carried along. We would build a port environment devoid of quarrel or violence,” he said.

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