The Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mohammed Bello-Koko, has appealed to all security agencies to join forces with the NPA, to end attacks on vessels and port facilities.
Bello-Koko made the appeal during a meeting between Assistant Inspector General of the Nigeria Police in charge of Maritime, Amadi John Ogbonnaya; officials of Lagos State Government; Commander of the NNS Beecroft, Commodore Bashiru Mohammed represented by Lt. Commander A.S Manga; and Sector Commander of the FRSC, Matthew Cyril Zango, among other government agencies in the maritime industry.
NPA spokesman, Olaseni Alakija, in a statement issued on Thursday by the NPA, urged the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) to clear all the challenges that impede the free flow of traffic on all port corridors with a view to ensuring efficient and effective handling of cargo in and out of the nation’s seaports.
According to Bello-Koko, there is an urgent need for the AIG Maritime and other security agencies to assist the NPA in addressing the rising cases of attacks on vessels, barge operators, and other port facilities especially around the waterfronts and the channel areas.
He said, “I wish to use this opportunity to thank the Lagos State Government, the FRSC and the Port Authority Police Command (PAPC) of the Lagos State Police Command for their support and collaboration with the NPA on the enforcement of the electronic call-up system called ‘Eto’ and the clearance operation.
“The authority would like the AIG to use his good office to assist in strengthening the existing collaboration between the Lagos State Police Command and the PAPC; and assist in the challenge of persistent complaints by stakeholders of extortion and erecting illegal roadblocks by uniformed security operatives from government security agencies, unions and associations on port corridors.
“Other issues requiring the AIG’s urgent attention include assisting in follow-ups with the Force Headquarters Abuja for additional police personnel/gunnery to enable the authority commission its newly acquired patrol boats.”
The NPA boss also asked for the speedy establishment of Marine Police units in Calabar and Delta ports respectively.