Theft, vandalisation of vehicles increase at bonded terminals
Importation of vehicles into Nigerian ports and onward transmission to bonded terminals have continuously been characterised by theft of car batteries, catalysts, keys and sensors as well as vandalism at various levels.
Findings revealed that some of the vandalism acts, which are usually carried out by wharf rats (port thieves), thrive at the Lagos RoRo terminals, especially at Tin Can Island Port. But they have now extended to bonded terminals.
Findings at the bonded terminals also unearthed several complaints from freight forwarders that vehicles in transit from the ports to the terminals are tampered with, while some have alleged poor insecurity inside some of the bonded terminals.
The Public Relations Officer, Association of Registered Freight Forwarders of Nigeria (AREFFN), Taiwo Fatomilola, said the issue of theft and vandalisation of imported vehicle parts at bonded terminals have been a continuous phenomenon.
“Most of the security officers in those terminals are thieves because the money they pay them is quite little, so they look for extra means to survive the harsh economy. Sometimes they remove the sensors, catalysts or batteries of the vehicles. Nothing can be done in the terminals without the cooperation of the security. When there is leakage in the security network, there will be a problem. It has been a continuous occurrence,” he said.
To this end, clearing agents operating at the Tin Can Island Port held close-door meetings with a RoRo terminal; Five Star Logistics Terminal and her concerned sister bonded terminals – Classic Bonded Terminal and Clarion Bonded Terminal.
The Youth leader of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) at Tin Can Port, Remilekun Sikiru, while intimating members in a report at the end of the closed-door meeting, said the terminal operators and its bonded terminals have promised to put an end to thefts and pilfering on imported vehicles.
On the stealing of catalyst and other missing parts of vehicles, Sikiru enjoined importers and clearing agents to take a proper check of their vehicles before taking delivery.
He said once they notice any part of the vehicle is missing, such cases should be reported immediately to the office of Management of the bonded terminals.