Customs Area Controller, Kirikiri Lighter Terminal Command of Nigeria Customs Service, Comptroller Benjamin Aber has expressed the command’s determination to work towards decongesting the access road leading to the terminal to improve traffic flow in the area.
Aber who was speaking at a press briefing in Lagos yesterday said the move became imperative to pave way for the importing public and other investors to patronize the command and thus improve on its revenue collection.
He expressed concern over the indiscriminate parking of fuel tankers and other articulated vehicles on the access road, saying that is the major reason why importers shy away from stemming their containers to the terminal.
“When I first arrived at the command, I could not get to my office because the whole place was blocked with tankers.
“If I cannot have access to my office that means if you want to bring container here it will be impossible and this is the reason why people shy away from coming here to do business because there is no access to the command for containers to come here.
“You cannot generate revenue when there is no order. When there is no business activity. So first and foremost I had to look at what made this place went to this level of decay in such a way that we cannot even generate half of the revenue target given to the command for the past three years,” he said.
Aber noted that there is need to create sanity in the way and manner petroleum products are loaded to avert fire incidence.
He said a committee made up of the Nigerian Port Authority (NPA), Police and other security agencies including the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas workers (NUPENG), tank farm owners among others have been constituted towards addressing the problem.
“When you see a scenario where about 2,000 tankers are lining up in a cluster in such a way that you cannot move or reverse anywhere and in the same environment, you have people cooking [with] fire; if there is a case of fire, it will be something we should not even contemplate.
“We have agreed it is high time we create a free corridor starting from mile two to Marine. Nobody should park on both sides of the road or wait within that corridor. The corridor will help reduce the miscreant here and we have no market for any criminal to harbour.
“Secondly, there will be free access and orderly manner of tankers driving in and fetching more fuel. Bridges are not constructed to be parking lots, which means they are also under threat.
“These are issues that must be solved before we can talk of having the desired trading public to come here and do business,” he said.
He said there are ongoing plans to relocate the tanker drivers to a proposed parking site near Agboju, along the Mile 2 – Badagry expressway.
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