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Tincan Port fencing will enforce automated access control gate usage – Bello-Koko
The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has charged contractors working on the road infrastructure and security architecture projects in Tin Can Island, Onne, Calabar and Rivers ports to hasten completion of the projects to strengthen the implementation of the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS) in the country.
The ISPS “Code is an amendment to the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention (1974/1988) on minimum security arrangements for ships, port facilities and government agencies. It provides a framework through which ships and port facilities can co-operate to detect and deter acts that pose threat to maritime security and international trade.”
Also recall that there have been reports of pilfering and looting of imported vehicle components inside the Lagos RoRo terminals, especially at Tin Can Island Port, which has extended to bonded terminals.
Speaking during an inspection tour of the Tin can Island port projects, the Managing Director, NPA, Mohammed Bello-Koko, said the authority awarded contract of concrete perimeter fencing in Tin Can Island, Onne, Calabar and Rivers ports, to enforce usage of the automated access control gate into the ports.
He said the essence was to ensure the ports were safe by reducing access to the number of persons entering the port, as many had no business to do there.
He said this would reduce pilfering, thefts, thugs and miscreants coming into the ports, as well as creating an enabling business environment within the port location as required by the ISPS code.
The NPA boss also noted that the rehabilitation of roads leading into the ports and drainage, would be completed in two weeks, as assured by the contractors, to ensure evacuation of water, especially as the rains are coming.
“We are aware of flood within this location. We are asking the contractors to look at it. We have created drainage outlets into the main creek – the Port Novo creek, just to ensure evacuation of water. We are also doing this at other ports across the country, Onne, Calabar and Rivers, to ensure the roads within the ports are in a good shape.
“We have also given contract for the concrete fencing of the ports. This is to look at the operations of the ports, to see what we have achieved so far in terms of improving sanity and ensuring that only those that have business in the ports get into the port,” he added.
On security of the waterways, Bello-Koko said the authority had increased security patrol and surveillance, working with the Nigerian Navy and the Lagos State government, as well as ensuring fencing of the waterfronts, which the engineers are looking into dud to the soft nature of the locations.
“Our security personnel are up to the task and we keep giving them all the tools they need. We have improved their communications and we will buy more patrol boats to ensure the waterfronts are also secured,” he added.
Bello-Koko noted that the tour was to look at operations at the port to see what had been achieved so far, especially in terms of improving sanity and ensuring that only people that should be in the port have access.
“We can see that Tincan 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, by restricting entry into the port, we 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 noted that fencing of Tincan Port would ensure individuals who had no business in the ports are kept out, adding that the use of automated access control gate would be enforced.
Bello-Koko said he was impressed to see fewer people at the port unlike how it was in the past.
The managing director said, “we will keep enforcing and restricting entry into the port to only those that have businesses in the port”.
The NPA boss noted that as regards safeguarding the waterside, what they had done was to increase patrol.
He said that NPA had purchased security patrol boat for the waterside and 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 should also be fenced, but we 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 tools 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 on the efforts in cleaning up the area.
“We are engaging them through community and stakeholders interactions. We are also working with the Lagos State Government, we once had the 360 degree operation, which first of all went round to remove all shanties along the port corridor.
“We went to those islands to ensure residents that do not need to be there, were removed,” he said.
He added that the authority was waiting for the elections to be over and at the right time working with the Lagos State Government and the communities to ensure that the operations takes place, again.
He added that the rehabilitation of internal roads in the nation’s ports was ongoing and was aimed at reducing the complaints of users of the ports.
“People are complaining of the roads 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 roads would be concluded in two-weeks time.
He noted that the authority would ensure that it was done as the location had issue of flooding.
“They have created drainage outlets into the main creek, the portnovo creek, 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 ports are in a very good state,” he said.
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