By Ambrose Okehi
The pathetic story and history of Bonded Terminals are gradually changing from worst to something that can be reckoned with. It is no more a tale of sorrow and woos neither is it that of suffering and smiling. Actually, those who invested their hard earned resources the bonded terminal business are becoming happier each days these days while more and more of such investments are springing up at every nooks and carnies of Lagos and beyond.
Equally, the years of lost in investments, not bring able to pay staff salaries, years of agony, shame and reproach are over for this group of investors. They are now getting containers stemmed at their terminal at a regular basis. Those who are not getting enough containerized cargoes are as well getting empty containers. In fact, all the private bonded terminal are now filled to the bream. There is s lot of work to do, there are beehives of activities going on in the private bonded terminals.
For some years now or thereabout, a forum, Bonded Terminal Logistics Conference have been on. It is a gathering of investors in the bonded terminal business in Nigeria. A platform for them to interact with government and other stakeholders on the eau forward for their businesses. The forum was a kind of campaign for upgrading and effective private bonded terminal business in Nigeria. The aim also is to help to reduce congestion at the Port.The aim as regularly pleaded by the organizers a system of moving some empty containers to the vacant bonded terminals that littered everywhere.
Thank God that has paid off after all. And things are bubbling at bonded terminals now. The good news now also is that the shipping companies, the concessionnaires have harken to our calls over the years. So no dual moment for these set of business men and women anymore, sky is their limit now. The go about their businesses in the normal way.
Speaking on the development to News Emperor Magazine online, the Terminal Manager of AML Bonded Terminal and Advanced Motor and Logistics Limited, Mr. Alabi Olalekan in his office at Trade Fair area of Badagry, happy terminal manager expressed happiness that they are back to the business they know how to do very well.
“I thank God that things are kicking of again after years of agony and slow business.”
He attributed the latest development to the good working and harmonious relationship that is existing between the private bonded terminal and the concessionnaires in the country.Mr. Okalakan also noted that the latest idea of transferring containers with berges through the waterways is another boost to their business. Saying instead of going through the hurdle of the road traffic with its series of problems.
The AML Bonded Terminal Manager, Mr. Olalekan who has put in many years decades of practice in the bonded terminal business and maritime operation advised government invest more in the rail transportation in the country and as well connect the ports, mostly the Apapa port to the rail as that will help to reduce the pressure in the already congested Nigeria roads.
The maritime expert recalled those good old years when the containers in the ports were easily evacuated from the ports via the railways that linked the ports.
He said if the rail system is back, there will be container hub at somewhere in the North and East also, to reduce the tension importers and their agents go through in getting their consignments cleared from Apapa ports.
The lifting of ban on of berges operation has helped in no small measure, according to him as them at AML Bonded Terminal now get the containers through the nearest jetty at Abulado adding that unlike before when they wait endlessly for weeks for the arrival of containers at the terminal due to heavy traffic on the roads.
Mr. Olalekan therefore called on importers within Alaba International market and those of them at Trade Fair Market to begin to utilize the services of AML bonded terminal due to its nearness to their business areas and trading places.”We don’t even need to do more marketing on them. They are seeing everything by themselves, they should make use of the opportunity the AML bonded terminal has offered them. In tact, here is the easiest and nearest place to clear their imports. So they should re- direct their goods to AML bonded terminal for easy and quick access their clearance.
He assured their numerous clients that AML is doing fine this time around and will always give them the best service, that they should begin patronize the terminal.
On the issue of acquisition of equipment, he said the company is prepared and ever getting best operating plants at the bonded terminal, saying that the giant Kalmar forklifts they have are at their best.