—accuses them of lack of capacity to operate.
The National Co-ordinator of the 100 percent compliance team of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Alhaji Tanko Ibrahim, has raised an alarm over the continued inefficiency and deteriorating services of bonded terminals in the country.
Tanko, who was speaking to journalists in his Lagos office, lamented that the unmitigated shoddy services of these facilities have been a source of concern to the NAGAFF team which has consistently complained of their laxities that have been haunting the freight forwarders.
Tanko, who doubles as the Vice- President Western Zone of NAGAFF, claimed that about 60 percent of the bonded terminals in the country lack the required capacity to deliver quality and efficient services as they do not have the requisite equipment and space.
“Most of the bonded terminal operators in Nigeria do not have the capacity to even own a terminal in the first place”
“The required capacity is that you need to get a minimum of four forklifts of different sizes, the one that can pick twenty-foot containers, and forty-foot containers.
“You need a large expanse of land that can contain at least 20,000 containers.
Most of the bonded terminals don’t have these”
But according to him, most of them lack these facilities which he said has hampered their operations and service delivery.
Tanko wondered how most of the operators of these mushroom bonded terminals were able to meet the Customs requirements to secure their operating licenses, given the parlous state of most of the infrastructural facilities of most bonded terminals.
However, he advocated for outright revocation of the licenses of the terminal operators who failed to meet the required standard.
“It is the job of the Nigerian Shippers Council to regulate the bonded terminal operators, while it is the duty of Nigeria Customs Service to license them”
“Before you own a bonded terminal, Customs is expected to go and examine the location and then give you approval.
“But because of corruption, after they have been told to inspect the facility, the officers would okay it, meanwhile it is not up to required standard.
Tanko, therefore, enjoined the regulatory agencies such as the Nigeria Customs Service and Nigeria Shippers’Council, to live up to their statutory duties by properly monitoring the operations of these bonded terminals and sanction the erring ones.
“We are appealing to Customs to try and assist us; anybody who has licence to own a bonded terminal but does not have what it takes to operate a bonded terminal, please they should revoke the license, because we are the people that suffer.
“About 60% of the bonded terminals we have visited, none of them have the capacity to own a bonded terminal. We see some bonded terminals without forklifts, how do you operate a terminal without a forklift?
“So, they go outside to hire a forklift. In some bonded terminals, we cannot examine our cargo during the rainy season because everywhere is flooded.
“We have been complaining, writing petitions to Customs Area Controllers, but we are still suffering, paying demurrage, shipping charges, terminal charges.
“We want the Customs to set up a committee that will visit and investigate these terminals and see by themselves. Nobody can open a bonded terminal without licence. But, then, what is the criteria for opening a bonded terminal, we need to find out”, Alhaji Tanko queried.
Danish court returns guilty verdict on Nigerian pirate —- remands him in prison
A Danish court on Monday found a Nigerian guilty of endangering the lives of Danish military personnel in a shooting incident last November involving Denmark’s navy and a crew of suspected Nigerian pirates in the Gulf of Guinea.
However, the court declined to sentence the Nigerian, Lucky Frances, 40, despite a call from the prosecutor for a prison sentence of 12 to 15 months.
As part of international anti-piracy efforts, Denmark deployed a frigate to the Gulf of Guinea in October last year.
“The court emphasized that the 40-year-old Nigeria, together with the other perpetrators, fulfilled all the signs of piracy and had to be described as a pirate group,” Copenhagen city court said in a statement.
Frances, who was injured during a firefight with Danish navy personnel in the November clash, was taken to Denmark for prosecution in January after being treated at a hospital in Ghana.
Frances was exempted from any legal consequences due to his medical condition and the fact that charges against the other three suspected pirates had been dropped, his lawyer Jesper Storm Thygesen told Reuters.
Charges against the three other suspected Nigerian pirates were dropped in January after Denmark failed to find a country in the region to take them.
Frances will remain in custody until both sides have decided whether to appeal against the verdict, Thygesen said.
Possession of NIN by passengers now requirement for boarding trains—Sambo
” The train driver can see from a distance if there are any threats on the tracts that will enable him to match the break long before getting to the threat, and that is why I am telling you confidently,” said the Minister.
The Minister debunked the rumour that train services will resume on Monday, adding that the newly introduced measures will delay the resumption of business along the corridor for a few more days for passengers to get acquainted with the new protocol involved in train boarding before it will resume services.
“We have not said that train services will start tomorrow. I want to be very categorical about that.
“Now, we have introduced a new system before you buy a ticket. The purchase of a ticket requires you to provide a phone number and a national identification number in order to profile you because that is the beginning of the security checks. So at any point in time when a train moves from one station to another, we know who and who are on board.
“If you don’t have a NIN you are not going to board our train, it is as simple as that. If you are a minor, an adult will register for you and an adult can only register for not more than four minors.
“Now, we want to give sufficient time for the Nigerian public to listen to these two requirements, to assimilate this new system.
“So if you go and start tomorrow, a lot of people will be disgruntled. Why didn’t they tell us that this is a new way of doing it? Why didn’t they give us adequate time to do it? So we want to give you adequate time. Definitely between 3,4,5 days, certainly not more than a week.
Sambo assured Nigerians that a smooth and secured train ride is guaranteed while noting that the trains will not travel at night for now, while there is also going to be a review in train fares.
“I can assure you that we are a compassionate government and will consider the masses in the review of the train fare.”
We are not going to tell you what we have done. It is a security matter and I have no apologies for that.
“We’ll be monitoring it on a daily basis and improve on wherever we find some snags”.
“The ticketing called e-ticketing has already been contracted to a company, called secure ID. That concession has gone through the entire concession process under extant laws, including approval by the Federal Executive Council. So that concession remains in place for the duration of the concession period, which I think is 10 years”.
Sambo said that although only God can guarantee maximum security, he assured Nigerians that everything is in place to guarantee a secured and smooth train ride.
“We are not going to tell you what we have done. It is a security matter and I have no apologies for that.
“We’ll be monitoring it on a daily basis and improve on wherever we find some snacks”.
The Minister assured that Secured ID would continue to handle the e-ticketing services.
“The ticketing called e-ticketing has already been contracted to a company called secure ID. That concession has gone through the entire concession process under extant laws, including approval by the Federal Executive Council. So that concession remains in place for the duration of the concession period, which I think is 10 years”.
The Minister was accompanied by the Minster of State for Transportation, Ademola Adegoroye; Minister of Water Resources Eng. Suleiman Adamu; Managing Director, Nigeria Railway Corporation Fidet Okhiria; Chairman Governing Board Nigeria Railway Corporation Ibrahim Musa.
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