Mohammed Bello-Koko, Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) said the authority has awarded contract for the perimeter fencing of the Tin-Can Island Port Complex in Lagos.
Bello-Koko who disclosed this during a visit to the port on Friday, said the perimeter fencing contract has been awarded to enhance security.
Addressing journalists during the visit, he said, “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, by 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.”
Bello-Koko also said that NPA was in talks with the Nigerian Navy to increase patrol of the waterfronts to reduce incidents at the port.
“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 fence 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 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.
He also said that NPA was engaging leaders of communities around the port waterfront to reduce security breach at the port.
“We are engaging them through community and stakeholders interactions. We are also working with Lagos State Government. We once had the 360 degrees operation in which we went round to remove all shanties along the port corridor. We went to those islands to ensure the residents there that do not need to be there were removed,” he further stated.
He assured of prompt repair of port access roads as well as dilapidated roads within 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 Nigeria Ltd, has assured him that a section of the road under repair at Tin Can Island Port would be ready in two weeks.
Tin-Can Island is the second largest port complex in Nigeria, next only to the Lagos Port Complex Apapa in terms of size and capacity. Commissioned on October 14, 1977, the port sits on 73 hectares of land.
However, for more than a decade, a good section of the quay apron at the port has caved in while the perimeter fencing has also collapsed thus making it porous.