Unauthorised persons, contrary to security understanding, agreed to by the Customs, agents and the management of the NAHCO shed are still gaining entrance into operational and restricted areas of the Muritala Mohammed International Airport Command.
The area was recently closed down for over a week, igniting untold adverse impacts on revenues and huge personal losses when the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) exercised its rights, after touts who were prevented from stealing in restricted areas pounced on the Customs Area Controller and manhandled him.
Agents, rather than the touts and those who allowed them in after settlement, were blamed.
Raising the alarm on Wednesday, the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) told the Maritime First that the members were seriously uncomfortable with touts and miscreants back, dangerously prowling the premises, “in spite of the measures put in place, after the reopening of the NAHCO shed.”
Joe Sanni, the Director of Media and Publicity to the National President of ANLCA further revealed that their findings were confirmed when Prince Olayiwola Shittu, the National President of ANLCA and Executives of MMIAirport Chapter paid a courtesy visit to the Customs Area Comptroller, Mr. Adegoke to discuss operational challenges at the command.
The body while blaming the Security Officials of FAAN, SAHCOL and NAHCO, lamented that glaring security breaches were being encouraged by those paid to prevent it, despite the present security challenges the country was facing.
He noted that “bordering on persons gaining entrance into restricted areas like the tarmac and break bulk space, monitoring and enforcement groups, non-observance of first come first serve, lack of equipment and manpower by the terminal operator, double examinations (scanning/physical), lack of conducive working environment, etc were fully discussed and very frankly too” before the sheds were opened.
Meanwhile, the association has opened discussions with the command on issues of unilateral discretion of officers by officers and men of Nigeria Customs.
Prince Shittu specifically appealed to the CAC to always carry ANLCA along in all the policies and decisions of the command, in order to ensure a harmonious and peaceful working relationship, as envisaged by the Abuja high commands.
Responding, the CAC, promised the two associations, the ANLCA and NAGAFF that he would decisively tackle all the operational difficulties encountered by customs licensed agents working in his command.
It was consequently decided that any agents without Customs licenses should no longer be accommodated for security reasons; even as each license is permitted to enrol only three members of their staff, for operational convenience and no more.