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IFFA steps up struggle to resuscitate ailing Lillypond Container Terminal

For more than a decade now, Lillypond Container Terminal had been enmeshed in low productivity and drop in container throughout.

Though the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) recently made some moves to see if it can be revived, observers say not much is still ongoing at the terminal as the efforts were further derailed by general poor import and export deals by business operators due to forex crisis.

But a group, known as the International Freight Forwarders Association (IFFA) has pledged to deploy its members in ensuring that activities boom again at the Lillypond Container Terminal Limited at Ijora.

Explaining the new mandate during the inauguration of the Terminal’s Exco, IFFA President, Dr. Sam Onyemelukwe, urged sister associations including the Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents and the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders  to eschew violence and avoidable confrontations with the Federal Government  but embrace peace and constructive argument.

He promised that the group would collaborate with other port stakeholders to make maritime and freight the number one revenue earner for the Federal Government.

He called on its members of the association nationwide to disregard any directive on industrial action and withdrawal of service, saying “We must move away from the old, primordial tendencies of militancy evident in issuing unnecessary ultimatum, withdrawal of services, closing down of the ports, strikes, violent protests and their likes. Problems are better solved through continuous engagements and interfacing among stakeholders by effective dialogue to articulate plans and measures that will engender progress.”

The newly elected Chairman of the Ijora-Lillypond chapter of IFFA, Chief Lawrence Ubah, assured the Tin Can 2 Customs Controller, Mr. Mahmud Dalhat, that the coming of the association would bring a turnaround in his command and increase its revenue generation.

Ubah also assured the terminal operator and other government agencies at Lillypond that the association was set to bring about the needed connections and contacts to revive the terminal, stressing that “IFFA is the only association for now that has all it takes to bring back the glory of Lillypond command. This is evident and can be attested to by the cream of personalities and groups of people who are members of IFFA”.

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