A dispute between Nigerian customs agents and the cargo handling company at the country’s main airport in Lagos, the capital, has been resolved according to parties involved in the dispute.

Official sources say cargo clearance has been at a standstill for a week at Murtala Muhammed International Airport since Monday, although Lloyd’s Loading List.com understands that problems have existed for up to two weeks.

One UK-based Nigerian freight forwarder said some cargo had been left under tarpaulin on the airport tarmac.

Nigeria is currently in its rainy season and there have been concerns that cargo would be damaged.
The dispute arose when the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO) increased its freight handling charge from 18 Naira (£0.07) per kilo to 48 Naira (£0.19) per kilo.

Customs brokers stopped working in protest at the hike, causing clearance of cargo through the hub to stop completely.

When contacted by Lloyd’s Loading List.com, a spokesperson for NAHCO said the brokers would be working again by today (Friday), although when contacted yesterday the National President of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Custom Agents, Prince Olayiwola Shittu, said his members were back at work already.

He added: “We had some differences over increases of NAHCO charges and another dispute with the aviation authority but we concluded negotiations yesterday and our members are back to work.

“Our members stopped when the charges were raised meaing there were no brokers to handle the cargo but we have been able to broker an understanding.”

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