The Apapa traffic melee has continued unabated with lots of businesses suffering and grinding to a halt.
Speaking with the Customs Area Controller, Kirikiri Lighter Terminal Command, Controller Hammi Julian Swomen recently, the Controller described how Herculean it has become to transit to and from Apapa port corridors daily.
“It is now next to impossible driving through this place to work everyday,” he lamented.
According to the amiable Swomen, efforts geared towards the achievement of the 48hrs clearance of cargoes from the ports is clearly in jeopardy, “officers have been involved in bike accidents because for you to access the port corridors from the KLT-Mile 2 axis, Okada is the only way out, if not you end up not achieving anything. The movement of cargoes and personnel is a nightmare. Officers and Customs Agents get into accidents, some are hospitalized, those not so lucky are either killed or maimed. It has almost thwarted efforts at achieving the 48hrs clearance mandate of the Federal Government,” he stated.
Controller Swomen is hoping that the roads will be completed on time to free the movement of containers which has seriously hampered and uttered the prices of goods in the market. “It’s our hope that the roads would be completed in the near future to free up the movement of cargo and improve the moral of personnel, it is really a nightmare for importers for whom turnover is key, this is why we have a hydra-headed monster of increasing cost of goods in the market.”
On the way forward for the KLT Command, Swomen says, “the Command has put mechanism in place to be more efficient in our operation. One of such measures is the dispute resolution Committee which has been put in place to act as a one stop shop for resolution of all conflicts.
We also encourage importers to transfer their containers to the KLT Command, in line with realising more revenue for the Federal Government of Nigeria and also meet our revenue targets,” he enthused.
On the significance of the recent Customs promotion and decoration of officers affected, Swomen is of the view that ” promotion is a reward for hard work and compensation for a job well done. We are grateful to the CGC, Comptroller Hameed Ali and the Service for this timely encouragement to officers, I will say to them, the reward for hard work is more work, we cannot afford to rest now. This is why we are achieving our mandate and we are thankful to the Service,” he said.