NPA chides ENL Consortium over worsening attacks on berthed vessels …Plans to increase patrol vessel fleet
BY FRANCIS EZEM
The Nigerian Ports Authority has chided the management of ENL Consortium, the port concessionaire in charge of berths C and D of the Lagos Ports Complex over the increasing spate of attacks on vessels at berth at the terminal and others around the complex.
Managing Director of the authority, Hadiza Usman, who spoke at a stakeholders’ forum in Lagos, Thursday said that the NPA was worried by the increasing cases of attacks on vessels at berth at the LPC, especially at the berths C and D controlled by ENL, insisting that the management of the company must begin to look inwards, warning that such ugly development must not be allowed to fester.
The MD, who was represented by the Executive Director in charge of Marine and Operations, Mr. Sekonte Davis, also said that ENL as a terminal operator must live to its responsibilities by ensuring that its internal security mechanisms were not breached from within, which might negatively impact on the security of the entire port system.
According to her, most of the attacks took place within the berths under its control, many of which handle dry bulk cargoes such as grains, rice bulk cement, among others, say that there might be possible cases of sabotage within the system, a development that has also given rise to the need to increase operational vehicle patrols with a view to increasing security surveillance at the terminal to forestall any case of connivance.
“We observed in one of such recent attacks from the way the rope was tied that someone within the ENL Terminal aided the hoodlums and so we strongly suggest that the management of the terminal operator should do an analysis of its Close Circuit Television CCTV so as to provide more clue and also aid investigation into the matter”, the MD said emphatically.
She however pledged that NPA on its part would take urgent steps towards beefing up security at the ports as a whole in order to check some of the excesses of these hoodlums, who attack vessels while at berth.
In line with these measures, she disclosed that the authority was concluding plans towards the acquisition of new patrol vessels around the port environment in order to increase the security surveillance around the nation’s seaports and also charged other terminal operators to up their games in terms of enhancing their internal security.
The authority had also in conjunction with some security agencies embarked on the destruction of shanties and make-shift houses around the islands and other communities around the seaports, which are believed to provide hideouts for these hoodlums from where they launch their attacks on vessels discharging cargo at the ports.
Meanwhile, General Manager of ENL Consortium, Mr. Mark Walsh, while speaking at the stakeholders’ forum, however denied allegations that most of the attacks took place at their terminal alone, insisting that other terminals were also attacked.
He also hinted that there have been several such attacks within the last four months, which were also spread across the other terminals not ENL alone, saying that majority of such attacks, were on vessels discharging fish.
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