By Steve Agbota
The acting Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority NPA, Mohammed Bello Koko is seeking the support and cooperation of the newly appointed Assistant Inspector General of the Nigeria Police in charge of Maritime as well as the Nigerian Navy to end the incessant cases of attacks on vessels, barge operators and other port facilities around the waterfronts and channels.
The authority also charged the Federal Road Safety Corps FRSC on the need to clear all encumbrance and bottlenecks that impede 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.
The Managing Director spoke during a meeting between the AIG Maritime, AIG Amadi John Ogbonnaya, officials of Lagos State Government Commander of the NNS Beecroft, Commodore Bashiru, Mohammed ably represented by Lt Commander A.S Manga and Sector Commander of the FRSC, Matthew Cyril Zango, among others and government agencies in the maritime industry.
According to him, there was urgent need for the AIG Maritime and indeed other security agencies to assist the authority in addressing the rising cases of attacks on vessels, barge operators and other port facilities especially around the waterfronts and the channel areas.
He also sought the support of the AIG in helping to address the persistent complaints by stakeholders over extortion, illegal mounting of roadblocks by uniform personnel from the security agencies, associations and unions, all of who operate along the seaport corridors comprising also 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 checkpoints with a call to truck drivers to resist extortion.
“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.
“To assist in the follow-up for the establishment of Marine Police units in Calabar and Delta Ports respectively”, Bello Koko said.