Executive Director of NPA Sekonte Davies 2nd left

The Nigeria Ports Authority NPA is linking incessant and embarrassing attacks by hoodlums and criminals on ships berthing at the Lagos ports to the prevalent of shanties and illegal building around the ports area of Apapa.

To this end, it has commenced the demolition and destruction of these shanties and has driven away its illegal occupants a way of curbing their nefarious activities which target the ports and put the lives and properties of berthing ships in jeopardy.

The port authority is convinced these illegal structures are the hideout of these criminals and the poor security network of the private port operators have also contributed to their rate of success.

Apapa Port, Lagos

The port authority earlier on fingered black sheep in some of the private terminals who they alleged were colluding with the criminals and hoodlums to carry out attacks on vessels discharging their goods because of their poor security systems. One of the private security firm ENL was specifically named as one of those with poor security systems to effectively check attacks.

The Executive Director of Marine and Operations of the NPA Dr. Sekonte Davies who represented the Managing Director Ms. Hadiza Usman revealed these during the stakeholders meeting of the nation’s port authority in Lagos yesterday.

The Managing Director noted in her address that there is ample evidence linking the constant attacks on discharging vessels in the port to miscreants and hoodlums squatting in the shanties.

NPA M D, Hadiza Usman

She revealed that the ports authority did receive support and co-operation from the Nigerian Police force, The Lagos State Traffic Management Authority LASTMA, The Federal Road safety Corps FRSC, and the Nigerian Navy in carrying out the shanties destruction.

According to her “it is an ongoing action carried out to ensure we have a safer environment to do business devoid of attacks. We have started pulling down all illegal structures and shanties hindering free movement to the ports.

Of great concern to us recently is the attack on vessels especially at the ENL terminals. The attacks have increased and we are worried. We have also established that it happens when we are offloading. So we suggest to ENL to look at their security systems because we suggest there is insider collaboration.

RoRo Port, Lagos

However, the General Manager of ENL Terminal Mr. Mark Walsh debunks that notion stating that the attacks are not only on his terminal alone but several others. He charged the NPA to provide adequate security to protect goods and services in the port.

He recommended the proper construction and protection of the quayside to ward off the robbers. Responding the NPA boss assured the stakeholders that the authority is already working on improving the security situation in the ports by increasing the number of patrol vehicles in the port as well as an increase in the number of security staff deployed to the ports.