- 200 NCS Officers to Vacate as NPA Reclaims Lilypond
Over 200 officers and men of the Nigeria Customs Service may vacate the Lilypond Terminal following moves by the Nigerian Ports Authority to retain the facility for its trucks call-up system.
The Lilypond Terminal located in Ijora Lagos, is a dry port with full complement of Customs and other security agencies.
Ongoing rehabilitation works at the facility have been reportedly halted and Customs officers at the facility will be asked to leave, according to insider sources.
It was gathered that over 200 Customs officers are deployed to the Ijora based terminal.
Dailyfocus.com quoted a source at the facility as saying that letters have been written to the Area Controller of Lilypond Command over the development.
Our correspondent gathered that the decision to convert the terminal into a truck park was part of measures aimed at addressing the perennial gridlock at the Apapa Port access roads.
This was confirmed by the General Manager, Corporate and Strategic Communications, NPA, Mr Jatto Adams, who disclosed that the NPA had to revoke a five -year lease agreement it had earlier entered with Lilypond Container Terminal Limited.
According to him, the Authority will resume activities there to do some expansion work and ascertain the number of trucks to be accommodated at the Ijora facility.
He added that NPA would adopt an orderly electronic call-up system for trucks to be parked in the terminal before they access the ports in Lagos to address the traffic issues.
Adams had earlier disclosed that NPA leased it out with effect from September 2018 after its initial ten year lease expired in 2016.
He said, “Lilypond Container Terminal was erroneously concessioned ab-initio, this was because the said terminal does not have a water front for loading and offloading of cargo.
“Consequently, after the expiration of the lease, the terminal was, however, reclassified and granted a five- year development lease.”
Lilypond container terminal was leased to APM Terminal for a period of 10 years and the lease expired in 2016.
According to the Head, Communications, APMT, Mr Austin Fischer, the facility was dedicated as an agricultural export terminal.
He told our correspondent that APMT intended to use the facility as an agricultural terminal for its new Cold Chain project, aimed at preserving perishable goods originating from the North.
Earlier, the Chairman, Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents, Lilypond Chapter, Femi Olabanji had lamented that the place had remained idle for a long time and even transit containers that were to be sent there were not delivered since August 2018.