The KLT Chapter of Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) has shutdown Phase 2 of the Kirikiri Lighter Terminal operated by Joatelim Logistics Limited over alleged gross negligence which led to the death of an ANLCA member, Mr Kennedy Ikechukwu.
Comrade Goddy Sewa Soleji, a member of ANLCA told newsmen on Wednesday that 46-years old died on Tuesday inside the terminal while trying to get his container positioned for examination.
Angry clearing agents had stormed the port on Wednesday morning and shutdown the administrative office of the terminal operator, while the terminal had been shut on Tuesday evening.
Comrade Soleji while calming frayed tempers of the agents however instructed that the administrative office of the terminal operator should be opened pending negotiations between family of the deceased and the terminal operators.
It was, however, gathered that the terminal has remained shut until Thursday due to the fact that the deceased family and the Terminal could not conclude their negotiations.
A condolences register has since been opened at the association secretariat for stakeholders.
According to Comrade Soleji, the port is supposed to work on 24hours basis, hence, reopening the terminal depends solely on the terminal operators actions.
After holding meetings with the terminal operators, on Wednesday morning, Comrade Soleji said ANLCA is insisting that the terminal operator should correct its operational lapses, which includes lack of adequate equipment and good working environment for customers.
According to him, the challenges agents were facing at the Joatelim Terminal has been reported to Nigerian Shippers Council, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Nigeria Customs Service, Nigerian Police on several occasions but still, there was no deliberate action taken.
He said the same challenge of lack of equipment and poor working environment is being faced at all terminals under the KLT Port due to lack of government regulation.
“What happened yesterday was uncalled for, because it was something that we have been complaining about
“What happened is that due to poor handling, the crane hit the victim, and stepped on him to the extent that, from the chest down, his intestines bursted out, it was ugly, the way we all felt yesterday was not good at all, it was a terrible incident”
“On several occasions, we have written to the management of Joatelim Logistics Limited to improve on their operations, in terms of pavement of the terminal floors, to aquire more plants (cargo handling equipment) for efficient service delivery for importers and agents, and also to improve their manpower
“The issue of booking of containers for examination, agents are not supposed to go into the terminal to position containers or pursue the plants that would handle the container
“That’s an analogue way of working that we have dumped two decades ago when NPA was in charge of the ports. In order terminals, agents do not have to go and position containers”
The remains of the dead clearing agent has been deposited at the Naval hospital at Boundary, Ajegunle. He was confirmed dead on arrival, and a death certificate has been issued to the family.
Kennedy Ikechukwu A.K.A Skiibo was a 46-years old bachelor from Owerri in Imo State.