Posted by News Express | 24 March 2016 | 2,914 times
Comptroller Benjamin Aber, the Area Controller, Kirikiri Lighter Terminal Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), on Wednesday gave two weeks ultimatum to petroleum tanker drivers to quit the environment.
Aber gave the ultimatum in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the sideline of a Stakeholders’ meeting held by the command.
He said that there was need to create a corridor along the tank farm and jetty operational area to free the exit and entrance of the environment of the terminal.
“It is part of Customs mandate to ensure the security of its environment and not only to generate revenue.
“If the environment is not accessible, investors will not import into the country and there is no way we can generate revenue for government because it takes more than five hours for anybody to come in and do business.
“The activities of the petroleum truck drivers have encouraged miscreants around the area. The environment has harboured many indiscriminate businesses whereby you will see food vendors cooking with naked fire.
“All these acts can lead to a big explosion in the environment which could claim lives including my life, if we do not find quick solution to the constant gridlock along the Kirikiri area.”
He said that he had engaged the support of the 9 Brigade Nigerian Army to train officers of the command, who would collaborate with the other regulatory agencies to ensure a safe environment.
The controller said that he would also seek the assistance of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to tow the lay-about tankers to their yards, while the appropriate authorities would prosecute the offenders.
“Free movement of cars and tankers can only be done in an organised manner with the support of all the security officers but the problem will still persist.
“The tankers usually like to come into the jetty area at the same time when they are not permitted to come in.
“Officers of the command have brought a feasibility report which shows that majority of the tankers driver usually parked on the road while looking for customers.”
Aber said that the Comptroller-General of Customs, Retired Col. Hameed Ali, had given him the support to enable the service achieve its mandate in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s Change Agenda.
He said that there were so many dredging activities going on at Brawal Terminal which would encourage small vessels to berth and could also bring a lot of revenue for government.
The General Manager, Ibru Jetty, Mr Victor Enebeli, said there should be no room for continuous sensitisation of the petroleum truck drivers because they had refused to comply.
Enebeli said that it was time to have law enforcement agencies that would be in operation for 24 hours.
He said that during the day, the truck drivers would maintain a single line but at “5 p.m., they would block the whole environment.”
“I controlled the traffic yesterday despite the fact that we have redeployed some taskforce to control the traffic.
“Everybody has complained about this constant traffic along the Kirikiri area. Until we decide to change the situation, nothing can be good about the environment.
“Let us all do our job, it is implementation and enforcement that we need.
“Every jetty and tank farm operators has processes of truck call-up system which can reduce unwanted trucks in the environment.”
Mr Gbenga Olawuyi, who represented the Zonal Coordinator, Petroleum Tanker Drivers Association, Alhaji Razak Akanbi, said that the association was presently working on a way out.
“We just arrived from the Eastern part of the country and we had redeployed some members to secure a parking space where we will be directing the tanker drivers to park.
“We will receive the committee’s report by tomorrow. We have been working during the day time to clear the road of traffic.
“As I am taking to you, our men are on ground clearing the roads with the support of the security agencies.”
He said that few of the drivers had the permit ticket, adding that it would be difficult to engage the services of those drivers without permit tickets.
A Senior Manager of NPA, Mrs Victoria Medupin, urged the petroleum tanker drivers to obtain permit tickets for their members to weed out those tanker drivers that were not registered.
Medupin said that there was need to protect the environment from constant gridlock, adding that the health implication of a dirty environment could be harmful to the people operating in the environment. (NAN)
•Photo shows Customs boss Hameed Ali.
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