The management of Kano Inland Containers Nigeria Limited (ICNL) and operator of Kaduna Inland Dry Port has put a lie to report that four containers destined for their facilities got missing on transit.
The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) last week said it has launched an investigation into the whereabouts of four containers on transfer from Apapa Port to the Inland Container Depots ICD in Kano and Kaduna States. The service, said it would descend heavily on any importer, customs brokerage agent or officer of the service that has any connection with the missing containers.
However, the management of ICLN said it was not true that containers on transit to their facilities went missing.
The statement reads: “The attention of the management of Inland Containers Nigeria Limited (ICNL), the owners and operators of the Kaduna Inland Dry Port and the Inland Container Terminal/Depot in Kano State has been drawn to a publication on several online news media that four containers on transit to Kaduna Inland Dry Port and Inland Container Depot, Kano State were stolen and diverted.
“We wish to state for the records that no container(s) on transit to either our Kaduna Inland Dry Port or Inland Container Terminal/Depot are missing and or diverted. Kindly ignore the libelous and malicious publication aimed at tarnishing the reputation and goodwill of our esteemed organisation” ICNL which is also the operator of Kaduna Inland Dryport said with its topnotch and excellent service, it can’t be involved in such act.
“As the leading integrated logistics and shipping company in Nigeria, ICNL remains committed to providing excellent and topnotch services to its numerous customers within and outside Nigeria,” the statement added.
Speaking on the missing containers, zonal coordinator in charge of Zone A, Lagos, Assistant Comproller General, Aminu Dahiru, said specifically that a total of six containers left the Apapa Port recently on transfer to Kano, four of which have yet to arrive the designated terminal in Kano. According to him, checks by the service showed that nobody exited four of the six containers,while only two were accounted for at the terminal, an indication that four of the six containers were missing or had been diverted, under what he described as strange circumstances.
He also disclosed that the zone was trying to unravel the circumstances surrounding some containers that left the Tin Can Island Port, also in Apapa, Lagos, which were later found in a private warehouse instead of the terminal the containers were designated for. “There have been several issues on the transfer of containers to terminals in Kano and Kaduna, among several others and in several cases; agents are seen as major culprits in these matters.
“Recently six containers left Apapa Port for a terminal in Kano. On our checks, we discovered that nobody exited the four containers that had already left. When we also contacted the terminal, we discovered that only two arrived to my greatest surprise. “There were also movements of containers from the Tin Can Island Port, Apapa, the said containers did not arrive the terminal they were designated for rather, we traced them to a private warehouse. Definitely we cannot continue like this, I can assure you because this is lawlessness and no society thrives on lawlessness.
“We may be compelled to reintroduce payment on loss of cargo on transfer. For some time now, bond is never close to the value of the consignment and we may likely begin a review of this bond issue, which I believe has become very important and imperative, especially at this time,” he said.