THE Federal Government yesterday reopened the cargo shed of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos which it shut two weeks ago. The terminal was opened a few minutes to 12pm after the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), “broke the seal” which signified that the place is now open for normal business transaction.
Confirming the development, NCS Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos Command, Public Relations Officer, Mrs. Thelma Williams told The Guardian yesterday that the shed “is now open for business” Sources said the Comptroller General of Customs, Dikko Inde Abdullahi, personally visited the terminal yesterday to order the reopening after undertaking a tour of NAHCO Aviance ultra modern warehouse and tarmac where tonnes of cargo are stockpiled.
But she added that only agents that have been registered and thoroughly verified would be allowed access to the sheds, adding that from now on, it will no longer be business as usual, since those who have no business around the terminal would not be granted any further permit to the area.
When The Guardian visited the cargo sheds yesterday afternoon, it was observed that skeletal services were being offered as not too many knew that the terminal had been opened.
The Guardian also observed that all the security operatives including the Police, Customs and airport security corps who were drafted there at the wake of the clossure were still stationed at strategic places around the terminal. Vehicles and persons that were going into or coming out of the terminal were thoroughly screened and identified before being allowed to go through.
The cargo shed was shut two weeks now following alleged violation of procedures by clearing agents at restricted sections of the terminal which officials of Nigerian Customs Service said constituted grave danger to security of the airports and the fiscal policies of government .
The new Customs Area Comptroller, in charge of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport Command, Mr Taju Olarenwaju was reported to have said that government has directed his officials to identify and allow passage for only perishable goods , medical goods and diplomatic goods as the clossure lasted. This clossure was reaffirmed by the Federal Government on Tuesday during a ministerial briefing in Lagos, when the Aviation Minister, Osita Chidoka, affirmed the NCS’s action. -Guardian