The Acting Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mohammed Bello Koko, has urged the Marine Police and the Nigerian Navy to end incessant cases of attacks on vessels around the waterfronts and channels.
Koko also charged the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) on the need to clear all encumbrances and bottlenecks that impede the 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.
This is contained in a statement by NPA spokesman, Olaseni Alakija.
Koko spoke during a meeting between the Assistant Inspector General in Charge of Maritime, Amadi John Ogbonnaya; Commander of the NNS Beecroft, Commodore Bashiru Mohammed, and officials of Lagos State Government.
He said there was an urgent need for the Marine Police and 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 channels.
He also sought the support of the marine police in addressing cases of extortions, illegal mounting of roadblocks by uniform personnel from the security agencies, associations and unions along the seaport corridors comprising Tin Can-Coconut, Mile 2, Orile, SIFAX Terminal on Ijora-Olopa, Police Area B, Wharf and Creek Roads, amongst others.
He added that efforts were 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 Port Authority Police Command (PAPC) of the Lagos State Police Command for their support and collaboration with the NPA on the enforcement of the electronics call-up system called ‘Eto’ and the clearance operations.
“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; and 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 assisting in follow-ups with the Force Headquarters, Abuja for additional 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,” Koko said.
By: Chinedu Wosu
BOAN Begins Pilot Operations From Lekki Deep Seaport
President, Barge Operators Association of Nigeria (BOAN), Mr Bunmi Olumekun, disclosed this to newsmen in Lagos.
He noted that the group will begin pilot operations to determine the kind of vessels that will operate at the port when it begins commercial operations.
Olumekun said members of the Association have visited the deep seaport and are ready to carry out pilot operations to avoid casualty or losses when commercial operations finally begin at the port.
“We have done our visiting and we have seen it by ourselves. So, the next step we are taking is to see how we’re going to do a pilot test.
“We want to do the pilot test before then, so that we can know exactly what we’re talking about.
“We are working in collaboration with the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) to see how the project is going to be a success”, he said.
On the condition of barges for the operation,Olumekun said two types of barges would be required, the sea going barges, and creek going barges
“We have two type of barges. We have sea-going barges and creek barges. So, when we are talking about Lekki operations, it is going to be sea going barges and those barges are what we will examine.
“We are going to be fully involved so that we will monitor all those barges that will come there in order to avoid any casualty or any loss of goods. We are going to make sure that at stage one, we are going to inspect and regulate it ourselves and see exactly the type of barges coming to load.
“We are going to synergise with Customs and NPA, to see how that operation will be a success, but I can tell you, we are fully ready”, he added.
NIWA Cautions MWUN Against Hooliganism In Waterways
Lagos, Area Manager, NIWA, Engineer Sarat Braimah, gave this warning while receiving the leadership of the Waterfront Boat Owners and Transporters Association of Nigeria (WABOTAN) in her office.
She questioned why MWUN wants to be collecting money from boat operators through the use of force.
“In recent weeks, members of the MWUN have been harassing boat operators for levies, threatening to replicate what happens in motor park garages on the waterways. We won’t accept that.
“MWUN (members) have said they want to see me, but I told them I cannot sit with them for now because of the way they are going about collection of levies from boat operators.
“MWUN should not bring hooliganism to the waterways. If they cannot go about collection of levies peacefully and professionally, then NIWA won’t have anything to do with them.
“That’s why NIWA needs to know the members of this new association. Who are they? Are they related to water? Where do they operate from? This and many more need answers.
“It is important that as a new Association, WABOTAN ensures the use of modern boats in the carriage of passengers across the waterways.
“We expect WABOTAN to improve waterways navigation, and not worsen it. I know the President of WABOTAN, Babatope Fajemirokun, and I know his passion for waterways development. I know he operates from Badagry.
“I hope other members of WABOTAN share this passion for improvement in waterways development.
“Why I am asking about this is because we wouldn’t want this association to be about just forming a new association.
“We want to know your objectives and challenges that made you think a new association needs to come up.
“We need to know, so that we know we are on the same page. Waterways Operations is developing every year. That’s why I keep telling operators to embrace technology. Two-Stroke engine is no longer fashionable for boat operations globally, and we won’t want to have people promoting such on our waterways.
“We know it’s not easy economically as of today, but we have to be striving to ensure we attain perfection on our inland waterways.
“Again, we at NIWA, will like to know your membership strength and where your members operate from so that when issues arise, I can easily know who is involved”, she explained.
Earlier, President, WABOTAN, Babatope Fajemirokun, said the Association has members across the littoral states of Nigeria.
“As you are looking at us, we are all boat owners. We are ready to work with NIWA in all areas.
“Our objectives include safety and security on our waterways. We will also be training and re-training our members to develop and build manpower for the transport sector.
“We will also be creating a database and assist NIWA in collecting revenue.
NSCDC Impounds Three Boats With AGO, Nabs 19 Suspects
The Command also arrested 19 suspects involved in Oil theft and illegal dealings in petroleum products.
This was contained in a statement by the Public Relations Officer, NSCDC, Rivers Command, Olufemi Ayodele to newsmen
The statement noted that the State Commandant, Michael Ogar, decried the defiant attitude of oil thieves and those engaging in illegal bunkering activities.
He siad in spite of the continuous sensitisation and relentless war against economic sabotage in the nation, those milking the nation’s wealth through illegal oil dealings have blatantly refused to change their ways.
Ogar stated that sequel to the reconstitution of a new Anti-vandal NSCDC team, the Marine and land Patrol operatives “have commenced full operations with a renewed vigour, professionalism and tactics in wagging war against the menace of vandalism of oil pipelines and oil theft in Rivers State.
“As directed by the NSCDC Commandant General, Dr Ahmed Abubakar Audi, marching order was given to the Marine and land operatives to massively arrest pipeline vandals and illegal oil dealers in the State, and this has enhanced our doggedness in the series of arrests made by the Command”, he said.
The Marine and land Patrol team arrested 19 suspects at different locations in the State
“To serve as deterrent to those still getting involved in this unscrupulous and illegitimate business, all the arrested suspects would be charged to court of competent jurisdiction while the Command would do everything possible to unravel, chase and apprehend their sponsors”, he stated further.
The Command, Ogar continued, “will approach the court with application for forfeitures of both the contents and the mode of conveyance, and the proceeds would definitely be remitted in the Federal Government coffers.
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