Management of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) is to acquire three vessels for effective policing of the nation’s water fronts, even as it has commenced installation of security facilities at the ports..
General Manager in charge of Public Affairs, Iheanacho Ebubeogu, who disclosed this in Lagos, said this is in line with its collaboration with the Navy. Ebubeogu noted that it has placed order for three vessels in France and South Africa as part of strategies to enhance its security.
According to the NPA, one of the vessels identified as Dorina is being built in France while the other two named Agade and Ovie are being expected from South Africa. He pointed out that the initiative is aimed at “responding to transport trend”.
The NPA image maker, who spoke on several issues in the maritime sector, said concession was adopted because of its relevance to the emerging trend of the “globalisation phenomenon and its apparent features”.
Ebubeogu, who assured that the NPA would take all necessary steps to forestall a repeat of the Atlas Cove Jetty incident, said that NPA would not give in to any terrorist threat; hence the proactive measures being put in place.
”Let me tell you that, beyond the purchase of the boats, several other potent measures are being put in place, which may not be made public as a security measure, but we are not sleeping,” he said.
He also clarified the current low cargo volume being experienced at the ports, saying the situation was a direct outcome of global recession.
”You know that Nigeria is predominantly a destination port, different from ports of origin..
The only port of origin in the country is that of Bonny, and so what happens is that when you have such recession, it throws up a spiraling effect on countries which operates destination ports,” he concluded.
”Don’t forget that the banks are majorly responsible for raising monies to finance imports, and when they (banks) are in distress owing to such global recession, the import/export sector will be adversely affected.”