Port stakeholders under the aegis of Maritime Workers’ Union of Nigeria MWUN, have raised fresh concerns over the proliferation of private jetties across the nation’s coastal region, many of which they alleged are not manned by the relevant Federal Government security agencies.

Assistant Secretary General of the union, Comrade Abudu Eroje, who spoke in an interview in Lagos as against the backdrop of the worsening insecurity in the country coupled with the rampant importation of contrabands and illicit drugs such as tramadol and large cache of arms, among several others, expressed worries that this development may further jeopardise Nigeria’s economic and security interest.

According to him, it is worrisome that private jetties littered around the who place, many of which handle ocean going vessels directly from Europe, America and Asia neither have the presence of security officers nor maritime regulative agencies such as the Nigerian Ports Authority NPA, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Security Agency NIMASA, among others.

It was gathered that it is even more worrisome that there are neither stevedoring companies nor dock workers, which implies that the owners of these ocean going vessels handle the berthing and discharge of their vessels without any form of monitoring or security checks.

He also raised fears over the activities of some tank farm operators, many of which he claimed are not monitored, which has dire consequences for the nation’s economic interest, especially given the increasing spate of oil theft, illegal bunkering and pipeline vandalisation, among several other related crime.

He said: “There are over 250 private jetties in the country and many of them are not manned by any government security operative. You get to a private jetty, you will not see any official of the NPA, NIMASA and not even any stevedore. This is definitely dangerous considering the fragile security situation in the country.

“Between Ughara and Koko, two neighbouring coastal communities in Delta State, you find over 30 private jetties, most of which are neither manned by any conventional security agency such as the Nigeria Police, the Directorate of State Security DSS nor have the presence of any maritime regulatory agency, which is dangerous both in terms of security and economically”.

The MWUN deputy scribe therefore called for a review of the approval granted to private jetties to handle ocean going vessels, which he argued has negative security and economic implications for the Nigerian nation.

Recall that the Federal Government had some years ago granted permission to over 175 private jetties operators to handle ocean going vessels as part of measures to address the then challenge of vessel congestion at the ports.

Then President of the Nigerian Ports Authority NPA branch of Senior Staff Association of Communications, Transport and Corporations SSTAC, Comrade Jimoh Umar, had led the vanguard of stakeholders, who criticised government’s action, saying that such approval would portend both economic and security danger to the country.