Union Urges FG To Re-Open Lagos Airport Warehouses

MMIA-LagosBy Chuks Okoh

The freight and forwarding agents at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, MMIA, Lagos has appealed to the Federal Government to re-open the closed warehouses at the airport for safety and security reasons.

The clearing agents warned that the inability of the government to re-open the warehouses on or before Friday would cause more havoc in the airport sector. The President, National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders, NAGAFF, Airport Chapter, Mr. Olusegun Musa told journalists at the airport that the association regreted the action that led to the closure of the warehouses, saying that several billions of naira had been lost to the crisis on the side of the agents, ground handlers and even government agencies.

Musa noted that since the crisis ensued last Wednesday, the clearing agents had met with the officials of the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, ground handlers and other necessary stakeholders to forestall recurrence.

He emphasised that NAGAFF would use the current development to correct some abnormalities noticed in the system like the delay in cargo clearance mainly caused by inadequate manpower at the warehouses.

According to him,  the leadership of NAGAFF would also ensure that the airport was more user-friendly to users in terms of crowd control, identification of its members and properly protect the interest of its members.

He explained that there are large volumes of perishable goods, which are either going for export or import, but were held up in the warehouses due to the closure.He added that at present, the apron side of the airport is congested due to the closure and feared that this may lead to a major incident at the apron, adding that pilfering and stealing of the cargoes could not also be ruled out as people gain entrance into the tarmac through several openings within the airport.He noted that the only way the sector could move forward was for all players especially in the cargo clearing and forwarding business to work together as a team,and assured that the cargo business would be professionalised by its association.

He said, “We cannot actually quantify what we have lost in terms of naira and kobo. Let’s look at it from two phases, we are looking at the invasion of customs at that particular day, they damaged some cars of our members, offices bungled and they lost huge sum of money.

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