NPA Identifies Extortion Points On Port Access Road

The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has raised the alarm over increasing extortion along the Lagos Port- Tin Can and Apapa -access roads.

This is coming on the heels of the clearance operations the Authority undertook on 16th to 18th July to rid the port corridor of shanties and illegal erections which harbor criminals who perpetrate extortion.

It was reported that NPA fact finding has identified flash points of extortion ranging from N500 to as high as N5,000 and the mode of perpetration.

The authority, however, solicited the collaboration of sister government agencies operating along the port corridor to sustainably tackle this menace that is impeding ease of doing business around our ports.

On the eve of the port corridor clearance operations carried out in collaboration with Lagos State government earlier this month, the managing director, NPA, Mohammed Bello-Koko, had lamented that extortion is injurious to trade facilitation.

Bello-Koko said: “these acts of extortion and allied illegalities are injurious to trade facilitation, which is our core function and we cannot allow these nefarious characters to make nonsense of the gateways to the national economy which the ports constitute.

“We had in the past visited punitive measures on of our staff who were complicit in such unethical practices, and I want to reiterate that once we are confronted with evidence of any our staff involved in these acts of sabotage, we would sanction them in line with the public service rules and our conditions of service which has zero tolerance for such malfeasance.”

Koko had received the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Idowu Owohunwa earlier this month at the NPA headquarters and enlisted the support of the Police in tackling the extortion menace.

Bello-Koko had specifically cited that, “the jurisdictional rule that restricts the powers of the Port Authority Police Command (PAPC) to the Port premises, is the more reason why we are calling for increased synergy between PAPC and officers of the Lagos State Police Command.”

He had earlier met with the leadership at various levels of the Nigerian Army, the Navy, the Federal Road Safety Corp (FRSC) and the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), stressing on the pressing need to collectively nip the menace of extortion in the bud.

The Nigerian Ports Authority(NPA), under Koko, had completed the perimeter fencing of the Tincan Island Port to curb unauthorized access to the port premises. However, the sanity achieved by this measure is localized within the Port, whilst majority of these illegalities happen along the port access road which is not within the NPA’s purview. Leadership

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