By YUSUF BABALOLA, Lagos
The Seaport Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria (STOAN) has assured the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) of support by replacing some of the items lost to the recent attack on its headquarters by suspected hoodlums.
Speaking when she paid a visit on the destroyed headquarters, the Chairman of STOAN, Princess Vicky Haastrup, said she led the port operators on a visit to the Managing Director of NPA, Hadiza Bala-Usman to sympathize with her and the NPA Executive Management over the attack, which led to the burning of a section of the NPA headquarters.
Haastrup who described the attack as sad and mind-boggling said, “We are most saddened by what we have seen. It’s actually beyond anybody’s comprehension that so much carnage and destruction could be done to a government property particularly NPA.
“I can imagine what the NPA management has gone through. It must be a very difficult and sad period for you because you put together so much and then some hooligans somewhere can just come and carry out this level of damage to the property.
“We sympathize with you and that is why we all decided that we want to pay you a courtesy visit to let you know that we are with you and we are equally very sad because this is a government establishment where we all benefit from and are a part of and as well enjoy support with your team of management.
“All the terminal operators in Nigeria are all well represented. I assure you that as terminal operators, we are ready to support especially in replacing some of your office equipment.
“We will do all we can, within our power to support you. I have the assurances of my colleagues that we will support you. We are not going to wait for insurance. We have come and we have seen the level of damage. This is the time we need to support the NPA. They have always had our back and this is the time we need to have their back.”
Also speaking during the visit, the Managing Director of PTML Terminal, Ascanio Russo, while commending the combined effort of the police and Navy in repelling hoodlums that invaded the Tin Can Island Port in the wake of the EndSARS, protest appealed to the NPA management to check the influx of unauthorized persons loitering around the port area.
He said there is an urgent need to beef up security in the port, especially at this time, to guide against any future attack on the port.
He said, “The situation at Tin Can Island is still very precarious. There are far too many people working around the port and it is not clear what they are doing. We appeal to the NPA to look into this.”
Hadiza Bala Usman, while expressing appreciation to the terminal operators for the visit, said NPA is going through a difficult period but assured that the Authority remains resilient.
She said, “We are keen to bounce back and we have commenced work. Luckily our IT infrastructure was not damaged. We have insurance cover for literally everything so we are trying to recover as much as we can through our insurance process to see how we can replace some of our equipment within the shortest possible period so that we can get back to work. It Is a tough period for us but we will remain resilient and we will continue with our work.”
The NPA Managing Director promised to liaise with the Lagos State Government to dislodge miscreants loitering around the Tin Can Island Port Complex.
The terminal operators were shown slides of the extent of destruction done to the NPA headquarters by the attackers. They were also conducted round the affected area by the NPA Managing Director.
STOAN members on the visit include the representatives of ENL Consortium, APM Terminals, PTML Terminal, Tin Can Island Container Terminal, Apapa Bulk Terminal Limited, Port & Cargo, and ECM Terminal.
Others are the representatives of BUA International, Greenview Development Nigeria Limited, Five Star Logistics, PTOL Terminal and Josepdam Port Services.