A few months after it was installed, the ports access control system installed and commissioned at Port Harcourt port has packed up. The control system was installed by an indigenous firm; Map Telecommunications Limited.
The computerised access control device was installed in line with the dictates of the International Ships and Posts Security (ISPS) Code of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) It was meant to control influx of people into the port, enhance operational efficiency and enhance security.
Investigations by Shipping Position Weekly revealed that the system did not work for more than four months and never fully operated before it packed up.
Under the ISPS Code which encompasses the access control device, drivers entering the port are to be given computerized access cards which they can flash at the system and the gate automatically opens for them to go in. Close Circuit cameras were also to be installed to continuously monitor the gates.
However, our correspondent discovered that this was never done as drivers were not issued computerized access cards, but rather the security men at the gates were the only men with the access cards, who take time to question the drivers before opening the gate for them.
So, human interaction with policemen and other security personnel at the gates which should have been minimized by the system still remains.
The pedestrian gate which is also fitted with the same system has also suffered the same fate.
The public relations officer of Port Harcourt Port, Mrs. Barbra Nchey-Achukwu confirmed that the system had broken down, but explained that the company that installed the gates were working round the clock to repair it.