The concessionaire of Murtala Mohammed Airport 2 in Ikeja, Lagos State, Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited, has said it embarked on the sanitation of cargo services at the airport in order to bring it at par with standard practices worldwide.
In a statement by Steve Omolale-Ajulo, BASL said genuine cargo operators who had been dealing with it have agreed to operate by the acceptable standard practices.
Omolale-Ajulo said those who are against it and have been putting up one-sided media appearances are blackmailers who do not want things to be done properly.
The statement said nothing will stop BASL from sanitizing the cargo operations at MMA2.
The statement by Omolale-Ajulo reads in full:
Our attention has been drawn to some one-sided reports in the media, sponsored by some people who called themselves cargo agents at the Murtala Muhammed Airport Terminal Two (MMA2), to discredit our efforts to sanitise cargo operations at the terminal.
This group of people is unknown to Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited (BASL), as those who have registered with us are the only ones we know and recognise as cargo agents.
There is the need to bring sanity to cargo operations in and around the airport terminal and that is what is done anywhere in the world. Therefore, MMA2 cannot be an exception.
It was with this in view that BASL decided to re-organise its cargo shed by asking the genuine cargo agents to pay N150, 000 each for registration per annum.
Although a few of them, who said they cannot afford the fee kicked against it, majority who appreciated the need to bring sanity to cargo operations at the terminal, have paid the fee and are already supporting BASL’s efforts.
Nobody can stop us from bringing sanity to our cargo operations, which have been very chaotic over the years. No amount of blackmail can stop us.
In fact, we have held series of meetings with genuine Cargo Agents during which we highlighted the benefits of registering them, one of which is to provide conducive offices for them at a highly subsidised rate, among others. These agents are enthusiastic about it, hence their willingness to pay.
All the meetings were held under a conducive atmosphere and we agreed to meet again. We are talking, but we must sanitise the place, no going back on this.
We introduced the Registration Fee for us to be able to know those we are dealing with; to bring sanity to MMA2 Cargo Operations and for security reasons. We cannot operate the place like Oshodi or Mushin motor park.
As a matter of fact, many of the agents have paid the registration fee. This will enable us monitor what they are sending and trace whatever contraband to whoever sends it. That is how it is done everywhere. It is partly because of the security challenge in the country today.
Those who do not have the money and have been operating freely at the Cargo Shed before are those crying about the N150, 000, saying it is too much. They only want the chaotic situation to remain and we are saying no.
Cargo agents are registered all over the world, so, ours cannot be an exception.
We must know those we are dealing with at the Cargo Shed and the only way to know them is to register them and we would not compromise on this.