Customs bar terminal operator from portal over debts

The management of the Nigeria Customs Service has deactivated the Five Star Logistics Terminal from its operations portal over N97.3m assessment debts.

The acting National President of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents, Kayode Farinto, who announced this in a statement on Friday, said the development had led to congestion of imported vehicles at the ports, noting that cleared vehicles were unable to exit the terminal.

As a result, he said the association had given the terminal operator four days to resolve the issue or face legal action.

The statement read in part, “It has been brought to the notice of the National Executive Committee that our members are unable to exit the already release vehicles and cargoes from the Five Star Logistics due to the fact that the terminal operator has been deactivated from Customs portal as a result of unpaid assessment running into millions of naira. We wish to inform our members that ANLCA is on top of this issue and we are saddened about the development.

“However, we shall be given the terminal operator between now and next week Tuesday to resolve their issue with Nigeria Customs if not, ANLCA will be taking the company to court for breach of agreement and failure to deliver these cargoes to the importers’ representatives. Also, Five Star should know that it will be responsible for all demurrages and storage that may accrue during this period (effective July 6, 2022 to date). Finally, we urge our members to be calm and law-abiding and I want to advise that we keep the receipts of all payments during this period.”

Reacting to the development, the Public Relations Officer, TinCan Island Command, NCS, Uche Ejesieme said, “I can authoritatively confirm to you that the service has blocked exit access for Fivestar Logistics Limited, following an investigation that led to the discovery of unpaid assessment to the tune of N97.3m.

“We are hopeful that the company will expedite action in effecting payments so that their officials can go back to business because they are very strategic to us in the trade value chain”

Meanwhile, when contacted, the Customer Care Manager of Five Star Logistics Terminal, Chuks Okereafor, declined to comment on the issue. He directed our correspondent to speak with officials in its head office.