Inspections slow Nigerian air cargo

A HEAVY inspection regime at the air cargo section of Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA) in Lagos has translated into long delays and high demurrage charges forced on importers.

The enormous influx will add further delays in clearance as the cargo sheds of the two major ground-handling companies are buckling under pressure.

The Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) is facing heavy complaints, but also finds itself under scrutiny. In addition to NCS inspection teams checking imported cargo a presidential task force must also re-inspect the same cargoes.

“And as if that is not enough after all these multiple checks there is another Customs wing called [Federal Operations Unit] FOU which waits along the road. When the vehicles transporting the cleared cargo comes out after so many checks by other agencies, and what we believe should have been a perfect job, FOU will hijack the vehicles and take them to its own ‘port’,” Segun Musa, chairman of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders, MMA Branch, comments.

In early January the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria promised to fix all gaps in the nation’s airports to make them more customer-friendly and to comply with ICAO standards.

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