By Dapo Olawuni |
The Nigerian Port Authority has directed shipping companies and their vessels coming into the Lagos Anchorage area to stop patronizing private security outfits, even as the authority disclosed that it has procured some patrol vessels to enhance waterfront security at the ports.
Managing Director of NPA, Hadiza Bala Usman stated this yesterday while speaking at a quarterly stakeholders meeting organised by the authority in Lagos.
Hadiza, who was represented by the Executive Director, Marine & Operations, Eng Sekonte Davies, assured that NPA would take responsibilities of securing vessels at the ports and and anchorage area.
According to her, the NPA is partnering with the Nigerian Navy with a view to strengthening waterfront security at the port.
Shipping companies at the meeting complained that some private security outfits collect as much as $2000 per day to secure vessels against attack outside the Lagos anchorage.
The stakeholders had raised concerns over constant attacks on vessels at berth; calling on NPA to increase patrol of the waterfront and put in place well coordinated efforts to address the menace.
Responding, Hadiza said “Today, marine notice has been issued. There is no longer any anchorage addressed as ‘Safe Anchorage’ .We are aware that $2000 is being charged on the first day and every other subsequent day is $1500, we know that is it increasing charges and that would not exist anymore from today. To provide anchorage is NPA’s responsibility and the Navy has been in collaboration with us to ensure that every anchorage of NPA is safe. The National Security Adviser and the Chief of Naval Staff are collaborating with us”
“NPA has procured security patrol boats and we are going to take delivery of some of them in the next six weeks. If not for a few issues, by now, they should have been here which will enhance our water front patrols and enhance our security operations”
The MD also said that NPA would soon commence procurement process for fenders to improve vessel dwell time at the port.
“We are also addressing the issue of fender, we understand the implication that without the fenders, some of the vessels will not call because of the environmental hazards they may get. So that will affect the dwell time. We are trying to make sure we look at other ports where some of the fenders are not been used so that we can quickly install them while the procurement process of acquiring other fenders would commence,” she said.
Speaking on concerns raised over the dilapidated port access roads, Port Manager, Lagos Port Complex, Fumilayo Olotu, said that the port management is collaborating with the Federal Ministry of work to speed up ongoing construction of the Lagos Port access roads to ensure that port operations are not negatively affected.
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