• Thursday, July 25, 2024
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NCAA warns cargo agents on shipping dangerous goods

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Cargo agents operating in and out of the Murtala Mohammed Airport (MMA), Lagos have been warned to desist from shipping dangerous and prohibited goods to and from their destinations as this might land them in prison if detected.

At a seminar organised by the Greater Washington Logistics, a cargo consolidator at the Aero Airlines headquarters, Lagos Airport yesterday, the Authorities advised the cargo agents to report any suspicious cargo to the appropriate authorities or face sanction when caught.

Austin Eboigbe, safety inspector, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, (NCAA) told the agents to identify any dangerous goods items they are collecting from clients.

He noted that several air incidents and accidents happen regularly in the world because of improper carriage of dangerous goods onboard of airplanes, adding that the agency was currently investigating incidents relating to dangerous goods within the country at the moment.

Among the dangerous goods identified according to Eboigbe, are matches, fireworks, lighter, gas cooker, body spray and magnets among others, warning that the agency would not hesitate to withdrawn the license of any agent or sanction any airline found wanting.

“Although, there are some quantities of liquid that are allowed onboard of planes. Just for information, your license can be withdrawn as an agent while the airline can be fined too. We expect you (agents) to think about the safety of the aircraft and the passengers onboard in the cause of carrying out your business.”

Also speaking, Nasir Kotangora, head, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, (NDLEA) domestic Airport, said drugs that can cause harm to flights if not properly packaged or concealed are all considered dangerous. “As agents, you are expected to check properly any luggage you collect from shippers. And it is important for you not to connive with any shipper and once you are tempted to carry illegal drugs, you should report such person to the NDLEA.

“Dangerous goods for shipment should be accompanied with required papers.

Any powder you are collecting should be followed by forensic analysis. It is the responsibility of all to ensure total security within the airport,” he said. On his own part, Agbongban Bright, group head, Regional Business and Cargo Shed manager, Greater Washington Logistics, said that the company organised the seminar for the cargo agents to sensitise the agents on shipment of dangerous goods.

Bright urged them to always follow safety standards and recommendations laid down by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), and the International Air Transport Association ( IATA) in carrying out their jobs.

“In recent times, we have had cases of some agents who ignorantly shipped items that constitute dangerous goods, but because of the process we put in place, we have had to identify these goods.