The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has said that the concrete fencing of Tin-Can port would help enforce the usage of the automated access control gate.
Mohammed Bello-Koko, Managing Director, NPA said this during a tour of the Tin-Can port to ascertain the level of execution of contract awarded.
Bello-Koko noted that the tour was to look at operations at the port to see what they had achieved so far in terms of improving sanity and ensuring that only people that should be in the port had access.
“We can see that Tin-Can has now been fenced using concrete walls from the outside. The essence is to secure the port, not just because of safety but also to restrict entrance. There are individuals that just wake up in the morning and want to come into the port with no business in the port. By reducing the number of persons, restricting entry into the port, you are ensuring that we reduce pilfering and theft, reduce thugs and miscreants into the port. Then, it will create an enabling business environment within the port location as referred by the International Ship and Port Facility (ISPS) Code,” he said.
He said that fencing of Tin-Can would ensure individuals who had no business in the ports are kept out and in that way they would enforce the usage of automated access control gate.
According to him, he is impressed with what he is seeing, as one can see fewer people than we use to have and we will keep enforcing and restricting entry into the port to only those that have businesses in the port.
The NPA boss said that as regards safeguarding the waterside, what they had done was to increase patrol.
He said that they had bought security patrol boat for the waterside and are working with the Nigerian Navy within the ports in Lagos to increase their own patrol.
“We are working with the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Beecroft and there are parts of the port along the waterway that we felt we should also fenced but are looking at the best option due to the soft nature of the ground. So, if we can’t fence the waterfront what we should do is patrol it, restrict access into the port from the waterside using the patrol boats and surveillance. Our security men are up to the task and we will keep giving them all the tool that they need to improve their communication. We will keep improving it and we will buy more patrol boats to ensure the waterfront is also secured,” he said.
As regards residence in little island across the channel around Ogogoro, Tomato island and others on security, Bello-Koko said that the authority was engaging the communities.
“We are engaging them through community and stakeholders interactions. We also working with Lagos State government, we ones had the 360 degree operation which first is all, went round to remove all shanties along the port corridor.
We went to those island to ensure the residents there that do not need to be there, were removed,” he said.
He added that they are waiting for the elections to be over and at the right time working with Lagos State government and the communities would ensure that the operations takes place again.
He added that the rehabilitation of internal roads in the port in the country was ongoing and was aimed at reducing the complaints of users of the port.
“People are complaining of the road leading to the port which is the responsibilities of the Federal Government of Nigeria through the Federal Ministry of Works. We felt we should ensure that the roads within the port are in good state and thus the ongoing rehabilitation. It has started raining in Lagos and we came to look at the level of execution of the contract we awarded,” he said.
He said that the contractor, Avalon Intercontinental Nigerian Ltd., assured him that the section of the contract of the road would be concluded in two-weeks time.
He pointed out that the authority would ensure that it was done as the location had issue of flooding.
“They have created drainage outlet into the main creek, the Port Novo Creek so to ensure evacuation of water. We are doing it at other port locations in the country, we are doing that in Onne, Calabar and also Rivers port, just to ensure that roads within the port are in a very good state,” he said.