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Danger looms as Customs fail to evacuate explosive consignments at Ikorodu terminal.


Segun Oladipupo

Members of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) governing board have expressed worries over possible explosion of overtime chemical and alcoholic drinks kept at the Ikorodu lighter terminal.

The board members described the abandonment as a time bomb waiting to explode if not contained quickly even as they likened it to what happened in Lebanon.

Speaking at an interactive session with management of Tin Can Island Port Complex TICPC of the NPA in Lagos during the week, Chairman of the board, Mr. Emmanuel Adesoye,lamented that some of the consignments have spent close to 44 years at the Ikorodu Terminal adding that some explosive consignments are still awaiting clearance.

The Chairman stressed the need for the Ministry of Transportation and management of NPA to engage the Finance Ministry or management of the Nigeria Customs Service as part of measures to evacuate such dangerous cargoes.

According to him, a BMW that was imported in 1977 for the sole aim of Festac 77 was spotted at the facility, pointing out that the situation of overtime cargoes at Ikorodu Terminal calls for concerns by all parties involved in the cargo clearance processes and revenue generation for the federal government.

He also harped on the need for management of the service to evacuate the long awaited cargoes at the Ikorodu, pointing out that such consignments are looming danger to government assets.

Adesoye said, “So since we were there three years ago up till now,nothing has been down by the customs to evacuate those overtime cargoes?”

“There was a BMW imported for Festac 77 celebration. Then,  we all know what happened in Lebanon where items of this nature caused serious problem for the government.

“If there are chemicals as overtime cargoes in that facility that have stayed for so long, it can lead to explosion.

“Honestly, the Customs should do something urgently to dispose all those overtime cargoes because the way it is for now, we need to engage the Customs management on the need to evacuate most of the overtime cargoes.”

Earlier, Port Manager, TCIPC, Engr. Ibrahim Anji highlighted challenges faced by management of the port with the operational activities at the Ikorodu Lighter Terminal.

Anji expressed worries that the congestion at the  lighter terminal at Ikorodu, stressing that the terminal is saddled with the responsibility of handling overtime cargoes at the port terminals.

On the disappearance of gridlock along port access road, he added that the port management decided to tow trucks broken down along the corridor to an open space created by the port and make the drivers to pay for the cost of towing it

This, according to Anji, scared them from bringing their trucks to the roads when they don’t have any business in the port.

Anji maintained that the electronic call up system was part of the strategies that put paid to influx and congestion of the roads with trucks on the port access roads.

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