The Government of the United Kingdom on Thursday deported 28 Nigerians for committing immigration-related offences in the country.
The Nigerians were sent back home barely 48 hours after 23 Nigerians were deported from Spain and five days after another batch of 34 were jointly deported by the governments of Switzerland, Germany, Iceland, Austria, Belgium and Hungary.
The fresh batch of deportees arrived at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMlA), Lagos at about 12.13 p.m.
DSP Joseph Alabi, spokesman of the Lagos Airport Police Command, confirmed the development.
Alabi said the deportees, comprising 21 males and seven females, were brought back aboard a chartered Titanic Airways aircraft with registration number : AWC-761/2.
He said they were received by officers of the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) and the Police.
Also on ground to receive them were officials of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).
The deportees were profiled by the immigration authorities and were each given a stipend to facilitate their transportation to their respective states.
In the meantime, the Chairman, Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMATO), Chief Remi Ogungbemi, says it is the responsibility of importers to pay Wharf Landing Fees.
The Wharf Landing Fees Law, No. 5 of 2009, imposed between N1,000 and N3,000 on cargoes from Lagos ports.
Ogungbemi said, on Thursday in Lagos, that several years after the fee was introduced, both truckers and Customs agents had yet to accept it.
According to him, it is not the responsibility of truckers to pay the fee but the importers, who are owners of the goods.
He said that how the staff of Wharf Landing Fees Collecting Authority (WLFCA) went about it on the highways, with armed security personnel was barbaric, exploitative and intimidating.
“Many trucks impounded in the course of collecting the fees and released, cost the owners between N100, 000 and N500, 000 as fines.
“We are not against the Wharf Landing Fee but the presence of the officials on the highways contribute to the perennial traffic situation on the two port access roads in Lagos,’’ the AMATO chairman said.
He, therefore, urged officials of the fee collecting agency to adopt a better approach.
Ogungbemi advised the Management of WLFCA to engage the services of terminal operators to collect the fees, “before any cargo leaves the port, instead of obstructing trucks in transit’’.
Section 1, Sub-Section 2 of the law states that, “any person in possession of goods on which Wharf Landing Fee is chargeable, whether as owner, shipper, transporter or agent, shall be liable to pay the amount prescribed ’’.