Nigeria: Terminal operators lack capacity and efficiency, says freight forwarders

The national coordinator of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) 100 percent compliance team, Alhaji Tanko Ibrahim, has sounded the alarm about the ongoing inefficiency and deteriorating services of customs terminals in the country.

Tanko, who spoke to journalists in his Lagos office over the weekend, complained that the unreserved shoddy service of these facilities continues to be a cause for concern for the NAGAFF team, which have continually complained about their negligence.

Tanko, who is also serving as Vice President West Zone of NAGAFF, claimed that about 60 percent of the customs terminals in the country do not have the capacity to provide quality and efficient services because they do not have the equipment and space required.

“Most of the terminal operators in Nigeria don’t even have the capacity to own a terminal at all. The capacity required is that you need at least four different size forklifts that can accommodate 20 foot containers and 40 foot containers. You need a large area that can hold at least 20,000 containers. Most customs terminals don’t have them, “he said.

But he said most of them lack those facilities that have hampered their operation and provision of services, he said.

Tanko wondered how most of the mushroom-wrapped terminals, given the precarious state of the infrastructure of most of the glued-up terminals, were able to meet customs requirements to obtain their operating permits.

However, he advocated withdrawing licenses completely from terminal operators who did not comply with the required standard.

Tanko therefore urged regulators such as the Nigeria Customs Service and the Nigeria Shippers’ Council to comply with their legal obligations by properly monitoring the operation of these customs terminals and sanctioning the faulty terminals

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