George Okafor (NAGAFF, PTML)
Although it doesn’t happen here at PTML because the security here is very high, but I think it is majorly caused by joblessness and people who just choose to be stealing. Here in PTML before you go into the port you have to fill a form to ensure security, but I really cannot understand why someone can choose to steal instead of working for his money. Dr. Boniface Aniebonam (Founder NAGAFF)
Pilfering is a normal occurrence, what we should be talking about is the reduction in the rate, it is a criminal offence. It is just like smuggling and the only way you can make people to stop smuggling is to ask them to carry their goods into Nigeria without payment of duties. As far as you impose any duty, people will always want to cheat, so it is not something that is unheard of. All I expect the terminal operators or those who manage the terminals to do is to increase their supervisory works and put more security measures in place so that these things cannot continue. I mean these are part of the reasons for the port concession to increase the capacity in terms of the managerial duties. The dockworkers are Nigerians there must be bad ones amongst them just like you have in freight forwarders and other places. All that is needed to do is to increase their capacity in terms of management, so that they can find lasting solutions to that.
Mr. Yinka Bakare (NAFFAC)
I think it is because the ports are congested; too many agencies in the ports following in the process like the examinations, we have too much overtime cargoes. I think basically the ports are being overcrowded and there is need to reduce that.
Dr. Frank Ukor (AREFFN)
The condition of the country is so pathetic now, hunger is everywhere; majority of Nigerians are out of work. As a matter of fact, Nigerians are hungry and when hunger comes like this people are looking for a place to get what to eat and the only place they can go to is the wharf where they can get what to eat. They are not doing it because they want to steal and get rich they are doing it because they are hungry, they are looking for what to eat. All those wharf rats are looking for what to eat; the trade policy of the current administration is so pathetic. Go to the ports you will see the other day customs officer from Ports & Cargo complained. He said before they were having up to 50 containers in a day, but now for one week they have not examined up to six containers because containers are not coming. People are no longer bringing in goods because when they do they don’t know what the government will be coming in with. Samuel Oluwole Obe (Chairman, ANLCA PTML/GRIMALDI chapter)
I think the issue of wharf rats can be tackled or reduced when there is provision of access card for the terminal workers, at Grimaldi there is CCTV all over, so an outsider cannot just come and vandalize a container or cargo at the port, so you can’t go in without an access card, and for you to have an access card you must be a worker at the terminal, so I believe that by the time there is any pilfering at the port, it will be easy to know who committed the atrocities, so provision of access card should help reduce pilfering I strongly believe.
Ojo Peter Akintoye (ANLCA Chieftain)
Until we begin to sanction those responsible for the act, this might still continue, and that is one of the most painful thing about our profession. Sometimes, people are taking advantage of the ignorance of some of these terminals Until we begin to prosecute the wharf rats, this might continue, so let’s hold the terminal where this pilfering is going on responsible, by the time they start prosecuting them, wharf rats will die a natural death. Ayo Suleiman (ANLCA PRO PTML)
We just need to buckle the security nut better than it was before, other terminal can take a clue from PTML, provision of access card to the workers will be the way out, let other terminals provide access card for those going in to the terminal and enhance their security, this will surely help to reduce the issue of pilfering at the port. Stanley Ezenga (PRO NAGAFF)
The port has been concessioned, and those who were given the terminal should not compromise security, by the time they strengthen security at the terminal, pilfering will be by gone. Also NPA as the landlord should endeavour to mandate these terminal operators to get the security tightened and access to the terminal without genuine reasons should be curbed , with that issue of wharf rat and pilfering will be gone.