Cargo agents operating at the freight shed of the Murtala Muhammed Airport II (MMA2) terminal in Lagos have raised the alarm over alleged poor security protocol at the private facility.
The agents urged the management of the terminal to enhance security in and around the shed, warning that non-restriction of access to that part of the airport might be injurious to safe operations.
The operators, under the aegis of Domestic Airport Cargo Agents Association (DACAA), told reporters recently that an effective collaboration between Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited (BASL), operators of the terminal, and users could improve security at the cargo section.
Chairman of DACAA, Monday Subair, expressed worry that the cargo shed had become an all-comer affair without due regulations.
Subair noted that the terminal had screening machines for screening all cargo that comes into the shed, but “security has gone beyond screening equipment”.
“Yes, the terminal operator has screening machines to screen cargo that go in there, but a lot still needs to be done to enhance security at the terminal. MMA2 management has refused to recognise us despite the volume of businesses we bring to them daily. There is a need to improve security at the cargo shed. It is porous.
“We have found it difficult to get records of our members that go into MMA2 cargo shed. We have approached them (MMA2 management) and held several meetings with them for us to have access to the volume of cargo by our members, but we are yet to receive a response from them. I foresee some challenges at the cargo shed soon because it is not well-coordinated as it is,” he said.
Besides, a letter dated January 19, 2021, addressed to the Cargo Manager, BASL, by DACAA further stated that the association members had agreed that each member should contribute N2 per kilogramme of every consignment, as individuals’ contributions to the association, but regretted that BASL’s non-cooperation was hindering the association from keeping proper records of cargo movement through the terminal.
The Guardian, however, learnt that the BASL management lately opted for General Sales Agents (GSAs) in place or the cargo agents in line with COVID-19 protocols of streamlining human access to the shed.
“The agents are raising false alarm because they are not favoured by the new arrangement. Safety and security have never been compromised at MMA2 because we have all the concerned security agencies on ground; performing their statutory duties,” an official of BASL said yesterday.