From left: Executive Secretary/CEO, Nigerian Shippers Council, Barr. Hassan Bello, Managing Director, National Inland Waterways Authority NIWA, Dr. George Moghalu, Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority, Ms. Haiza Bala Usman and Director-General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh during a solidarity visit to the NPA headquarters in Lagos Friday.

Heads of maritime agencies including the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency NIMASA, the Nigerian Shippers Council NSC, National Inland Waterways Authority NIWA and the Maritime Academy of Nigeria MAN, Oron have condemned the attack and subsequent setting ablaze of the Nigerian Ports Authority NPA, Marina headquarters.

They have also expressed shock at the attack and level of destruction that took place at the corporate headquarters of the NPA in Lagos, recently, when hoodlums hijacked a nationwide peaceful protest by youths.

The chief executives made their concerns known on Friday during a solidarity visit to the site of the incident. They said it was a surprise to them that NPA was singled out for attack despite its documented Corporate Social Responsibility and Community Relations initiatives, many of which were tailored to youth development.

The NPA headquarters was recently targeted by mobsters who exploited the #ENDSARS protest against Police brutality to cause mayhem in many cities around the country.

Speaking on behalf of the chead of the agencies, Managing Director of NIWA, Dr. George Moghalu, condemned the assault, saying the level of destruction is monumental and constitutes a huge loss to the maritime community as a whole.

Moghalu stated, “Seeing the level of destruction here first hand, we feel very sad about the turn of events. We are all in solidarity with the NPA management. This is a great loss to the entire country and we need to educate ourselves more that violence is not the best way to go about things.”

In a similar vein, Director-General of NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, regretted that the maritime industry was made to face this challenge despite still battling with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. He said port facilities are critical national assets that should be collectively protected.

“Port facilities are invaluable economic assets and they are critical to national development,” Jamoh stated. “It behoves us all as citizens to be custodians of this monumental infrastructure built for our collective good,” he added. 

While commending the Managing Director of NPA, Ms. Hadiza Balla Usman, for providing leadership at this trying time for the agency, Dr Jamoh said the Nigerian economy would have suffered considerably if the destruction had led to suspension of port operations.

He said, “This is a sad event, especially, for our industry that is still battling with the COVID-19 pandemic. Port operations are central to the activities of all the maritime agencies. We are just lucky that this did not stop shipping operations because this would have negatively impacted or crippled the Nigerian economy.”

The NPA Managing Director described the attack as an assault on the maritime industry, saying the level of destruction is incomprehensible.

Other chief executives of maritime agencies present were Executive Secretary/CEO, NSC, Barr. Hassan Bello; Registrar/CEO, Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria CRFFN, Sam Nwakohu Esq; and Rector, MAN, Oron, Commodore Duja Effedua (retd.).