Many cargoes were on Thursday trapped at the Lagos ports of Apapa and Tin-Can following the suspension of operations by all the commercial banks located around the port area due to scarcity of the new Naira notes.
Checks by the Nigerian Tribune revealed that many clearing agents couldn’t make duty payment for cargoes inside the Ports, thus leaving many of the cargoes unattended to inside the ports, and causing increased congestions woes for the nations busiest ports.
When the Nigerian Tribune visited the port town of Apapa and Tin-Can on Thursday, many of the commercial banks were closed and were fully manned by security operatives guiding them.
Speaking to the Nigerian Tribune, the acting President of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Dr. Kayode Farinto lamented that many agents couldn’t make duty payment as directed by the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), thereby leaving those cargoes Trapped inside the ports.
According to Dr. Kayode Farinto, “Today has been worse. Many people cannot make duty payment because none of the banks opened. Yesterday was fair, some opened while others didn’t, but today has been worse. No single bank opened today in Apapa.
“If the banks don’t open, agents cannot make duty payment; and if agents cannot make duty payments, then cargoes cannot leave the ports.”
When the Nigerian Tribune checked at the various port gates, very few trucks were seen leaving the ports, an indication that business is not going as usual inside the port.
Recall that many banks had began suspending operations following attacks on their branches by irate mob requesting for the new Naira notes as the deadline by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) loomed.