Friday, March 20, 2020 2:04 pm
The President of Barge Operators Association of Nigeria (Genesis of Nigeria’s Problems (BOAN), Mr Edeme Kelikume has commended the efforts of Comptroller General of Customs, Hameed Alli, for the closure of Barge services in the Nigeria waterways due to the out break of Coronavirus that has become an international pandemic.
The president who, in press briefing, on 19 march 2020 at Rockview Hotel Apapa applauded the efforts of the CGC Alli but stressed the need to be carried along in such situation as it cuts across the whole chain of clearing process and not only the Nigeria Customs Service,
President Kelikume said although the act was received with good faith because we must generate revenue Nigeria, safety comes first therefore compliance is of essence.
He also said that all other sectors should comply in order to stay safe as he has ensured that all his members are not found guilty with allegations against them as regards barge diversion. He said that the association has put a task force in place to check the activities of members who may still want to be Judas. The task force has being on duty since it was formed and until now “I can tell you, so far so good the association has only recorded only one mishap, issue of container that fell inside water.
He said that the introduction of moving containers through barge transportation on water way has helped to relief the traffic gridlock a great deal . The system which was newly introduced last year in Lagos has been in place in places like Warri long time ago and it has turned out to be of great relief as it has reduced the issue of container falling on people and all other mishaps.
He said that 300 TEU containers were moved through barges last year in Lagos and “if we are to rate our performance now we are on 30% performance now due to what is happening in the nation, we are still in operation but on minimal basis.”
He also said that his association has registerred 30 members in Lagos with Nigerian Ports Authority unlike Warri that has been in existence for long.
He lamented that the service lacks capacity development , and it’s not accessible to cabotage funds. He added: “High cost of equipment is really slowing than our figures of output. We are not fully accessible to APMT and you all knowt that access to barge operation is very important just as safety is of importance.”