Politics, inconsistent government policies and selfishness have been attributed as the bane of the dwindling fortune of business at the Kirikiri Lighter Terminal (KLT) command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).
The Chairman of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), KLT chapter, Otunba Michael Adekoya said this in a chat with MMS Plus Weekly in his office in Lagos, last week.
The Chairman lamented that the number of containers stemmed to the terminal lately is insignificant compared to what obtained before now attributing it to the fact that all the commands that are supposed to stem container to the terminal are working hard to meet target for their commands, leaving KLT to starve.
“Before now, you could talk of 1,000 containers in a month but now, you cannot even talk of 100 containers.
“That is politics I can tell you because the government has given all the different commands a target for the year and every year, everybody wants to win the target because of the different politics going on,” he added.
Speaking further, Otunba said that the command had been without activities as agents idle away at the terminal even as he jokingly said he had told his colleagues in other association that they should contribute money to buy a football for the agents to be playing as there is virtually nothing to do.
He however said that the Controller of the command had been trying her best to see that containers are stemmed to the terminal but her efforts had not yielded any positive result.
Expressing displeasure over inconsistent government policies, the NAGAFF chieftain said that tariffs on building materials have been increased from the 5% to 20% thereby making the end users opt for locally made goods as they can no longer afford the imported ones.
He added that the command that used to make about 3 to 4 Billion every month can no longer make a Billion Naira anymore.
He therefore pleaded with the Federal Government and the Customs management to consider the plight of the clearing agents at the command and oblige both Apapa and Tin Can customs commands to stem containers to the terminal.