The acting Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mr Mohammed Bello-Koko has called for the cooperation of the newly-appointed Assistant Inspector General of the Nigeria Police in charge of Maritime; Amadi John Ogbonnaya, as well as the Nigerian Navy to end the incessant attacks on vessels, barges and other port facilities around the nation’s waterfronts and channels.
The NPA also charged the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) on the need to clear all encumbrances and bottlenecks that impede free flow of traffic on all port corridors with a view to ensuring efficient handling of cargo in and out of the nation’s seaports.
The Managing Director spoke during a recent meeting between the AIG Maritime, officials of Lagos State Government, Commander of the NNS Beecroft, Commodore Bashiru Mohammed who was represented by Lt Commander A.S Manga and Sector Commander of the FRSC, Matthew Cyril Zango, and government agencies in the maritime industry.
Bello-Koko stated that there is urgent need for the AIG Maritime and other security agencies to assist in addressing the rising cases of attacks on vessels, barge operators and other port facilities.
He also sought the support of the AIG in helping to address the persistent complaints by stakeholders of extortion, illegal mounting of roadblocks by uniform personnel from the security agencies, associations and unions.
The NPA boss noted that the alleged perpetrators operate along the seaport corridors comprising of Tin Can-Coconut, Mile 2, Orile, around the SIFAX Terminal on Ijora-Olopa as well as Police Area B, Wharf and Creek Roads, among others.
He added that efforts are being intensified to dismantle all illegal check points, even as her urged truck drivers to resist extortion.
He said: “I wish to use this opportunity to thank the Lagos State Government, the FRSC and the 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 the following areas of interest or concern; strengthening the existing collaboration between the Lagos State Police Command and the PAPC, 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 assist in follow-ups with the Force Headquarters Abuja for additional maritime Police personnel/gunnery to enable the authority commission its newly acquired patrol boats.
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“To assist in the follow-up for the establishment of Marine Police units in Calabar and Delta Ports respectively”, Bello Koko”
Meanwhile, the NPA MD has said the agency is willing to collaborate with maritime industry stakeholders to ensure the success of the electronic call- up system, known as the ‘Eto’.
Speaking during an interactive session with stakeholders at the agency’s corporate headquarters in Marina, Lagos, he disclosed that security agencies, stakeholders and the Lagos State Government have agreed to streamline operational procedures to curtail extortion and sharp practices that hamper the enforcement of the truck traffic management at Apapa and the entire Maritime Logistic Ring (MLR).
He said: “The management of the NPA, is seeking more partnership from the authority’s vast stakeholders towards stimulating the eto, the electronic call up system to considerable success.
“There is therefore the need for all security agencies as well as operators to rub minds, share information on the subject of eto and the truck traffic management in Apapa in relation to proffering solutions to the gridlock in the port environment. “Let us jointly work in greater unison to resolve this issue that has become worrisome ”
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