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Clearing agents shut Lagos bonded terminal over trapped vehicles

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Abiola Seun

Clearing Agents under the aegis of National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), on Monday, shutdown Clarion Bonded Terminal, Amuwo-Odofin, Lagos, over 14 trapped vehicles of importers.

The agents, who converged on the terminal gate ,were armed with different placards asking the terminal operators to release the vehicles of their members illegally held on to by Clarion Terminal.

Speaking, the Deputy Chairman, NAGAFF 100 percent compliance team, Bert Okeke, said the bonded terminal operators had asked the clearing and forwarding agency involved in the clearance of the vehicles, Adjaji Continental Clearing Agency, to pay N85m Debit Note (DN), placed on the agency’s licence by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).

Okeke, however, said if Adjaji is owing the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), or have unpaid assessment, the customs would have blacklisted the agency, saying the vehicles owners shouldn’t be held responsible for a transaction they know nothing about.

“We are here about the atrocities and crimes committed at Clarion Bonded Terminal.

” Clarion is holding on to 14 vehicles of our members since July 2021, for no just cause. According to Clarion, there were some unpaid assessment assigned to a particular agencies (Adjaji Continental Clearing Agency), that was consigned to those vehicles.

“From our investigation, that agency has nothing to do with the Debit Note (DN) and the DN was given to a particular consignee called First Degree Agency that was suppose to bring those containers from Tin Can to this bonded terminal.

“From our investigation, those containers were suspected to be carrying arms and ammunition because from the attitude of the terminal operators, there was nothing to show that those containers got to the bonded terminals.”

He further alleged that the containers under discussion were illegally released from the Tin-Can Island port complex, saying Clarion Bonded Terminal is a massive fraud and revenue loss to the government.

He said, “they did what they called flying for the 19 containers. We have asked Clarion Terminal to show us the Terminal Delivery Order (TDO) of who received the consignment from Adjaji Continental Service that the terminal said have unpaid assessment to its name?

“Who received the consignment from Tin-Can on transit? Who released it? and they should give us evidence that the consignment were properly examined,” he said.

“Clarion Terminal should release vehicles of the importers because they have paid Customs duty, pay terminal and shipping charges, as they have nothing to do, whatsoever, with the unpaid assessment.

Also speaking, one of the representatives of the vehicle owners, Emeka Ojiegwu, asked the terminal operator to release their vehicles, saying they know nothing about the fraudulently released containers.

He said, “we have 14 vehicles here and after paying duties and demurrage and on point of exit, we were told we can’t remove our vehicles because of a 19 illegally released containers from the Tin-Can Island Ports.

“Customs have exonerated Adjaji, saying the company isn’t the one that illegally released the containers, so why are they holding us down for something we know nothing about.”

© 2022, maritimemag. All rights reserved.

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