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Clearing agents protest alleged extortion by customs in Lagos

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Nigeria Customs Service during a raid

The placard-carrying protesters blocked the old Ojo Road leading to the terminal, causing serious traffic jam, as commuters alight from the vehicles to save time.

Some of the postcards read: “We say No To Victimisation,” “We Say No To Injustice,” “We don’t want the OC Gate,” among others.

The Guardian learnt that the agents and importers were allegedly being subjected to what they termed ‘double examination’ of goods to extort for their own personal interest.

A clearing agent, Ifeanyi Okoli, said the challenges facing them were not happening in other terminals.

“They have created what they termed controller watchlist collecting N100,000 per container of goods.

“We want them to stop all these they are doing, as they are taking food away from our mouth because customers are running away from this terminal,” he said.

Also, Chief Executive Officer of ARTIX Auto, Okechukwu Ogbonna, lamented that clearing of goods from the terminal has always been a difficult task, as officials of the NCS have been making life difficult for shipping companies.

They unanimously called for the removal of the Officer in Charge (OC) of the terminal, noting that he is being used by some people to ensure the running down of the clarion terminal.

“We are demanding that clarion terminal should be allowed to operate without frustration as it is done in other terminals. We have complained and written letters on our plights but no one listened to us, that is why we are crying outside today,” says Ejike Methuselah.

When The Guardian visited the office of the Staff Officer of the terminal, Kashim Z. M, he said he was not aware of the protest.

He also denied all the allegations levelled against the Customs officials, saying: “We did not receive any complaint from any agent. As far as I am concerned, nobody has so far come forward to make any complaint.”

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