By Andrew Airahuobhor Correspondent
Officials of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), Association of Nigeria Customs Licensed Agents (ANLCA) and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) are set to meet today to resolve crises besetting cargo clearance at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA) following standoff between customs and agents.
It was gathered that officers from the Federal Operations Unit, (FOU) Lagos, shut the NAHCO warehouse and suspended the clearance of goods until further notice due to a dispute between them and the Association of Clearing Agents, who have been on a weeklong work stoppage thereby crippling cargo operations at the airport.
ANLCA leadership said a meeting has been fixed for Monday to critically look at the issues affecting the association.
The meeting fixed by the President of the Association, Prince Olayiwola Shitu, will also have the management of FAAN and that of the NCS Command in attendance.
Shitu had told all members to remain calm until the outcome of his meeting with FAAN authorities.
The crux of the matter, it was gathered, is about a presidential directive that nobody should been seen around the Cargo area at the Airport, the pulling down of ANLCA’s office at the airport by FAAN and its refusal to re-allocate land to the association for its office complex and FAAN’s inability to construct a Cargo village at the airport for effective operations, a place where all agents would operate with ease to ensure trade facilitation and efficient cargo clearance.
Shitu said he was pleased with them over their professional display and assured them that neither FAAN which is the landlord nor NAHCO which is the tenant could drive them from the airport.
He added that the presence of the agents at the airport is inevitable, and that nowhere in the world would Cargo be cleared without the agents whom he said, are customs brokers.