The acting Assistant Inspector General of Police, Maritime, Anderson Bankole has assured registered members of the Dredgers Association of Nigeria (DAN), of support and protection in the discharge of their legitimate activities and businesses.
This assurance came when the President of the Dredgers Association, Batari Akpomejero, alleged that his members were harassed daily by all manner of persons and government officials.
Akpomejero who spoke through the Secretary of the association, Richard Ntan, asked the Marine Police to intervene as registered operators contributed about 35 per cent to gainful economic activities in Nigeria, particularly in Lagos State.
“We are very sad about the daily harassment to our businesses, attacks and bodily harm to our workers, theft and destruction visited on our equipment,” Akpomejero said.
The Dredgers in a statement signed by Akpomejero, said the Marine Police should do all it could to protect the interests of dredgers whilst responding to the request of the association during a familiarisation visit to the Marine Force Headquarters annex office in Obalende.
Responding, the Marine Police boss said:
“We will join you to profile the legitimate activities of registered operators and will work with you to rid the sector of illegal dredgers and other fly by night operators who are out to put others at risk.
We think we shall do more of intelligence gathering in this aspect and my years as an intelligence operative will be generously applied to bring about needed changes and also bring succour and climate of secured enabling environment to the benefits of the maritime sector.
I promise stakeholders in the industry that they would no longer be harassed as we would do everything possible to protect them.”