The acting managing director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mohammed Bello Koko, has said that terminal operators are in-charge of safety of cargoes at their various facilities at the seaports and not the NPA.
Koko, who spoke in an exclusive chat with LEADERSHIP against the backdrop of the allegation of container broaching and cargo theft at the Lagos seaports by clearing agents and importers, said terminal operators are in charge of providing perimeter fencing as contained in the agreement with the federal government.
LEADERSHIP recall that pilfering of cargoes at the seaports have been happening unabated at the Lagos seaports as container laden with cargoes are mostly broken into and the content plifered at night.
Stakeholders have, however, attributed the resurgence of activities of wharf rats to criminals residing inside the Apapa and Tin-Can Island ports.
Reacting to the development, Koko disclosed that terminal operators will be liable for any cargo theft reported in their facility.
He said, “With the port concessions, terminals are in charge of cargo security, handling and perimeter fencing in line with the International Ships and Ports Security (ISPS) Code which is fully in place in the terminals. Having said that, for any cargo theft reported against any terminal such terminals are liable as entrenched in the agreements.
“However, any reported incident will be investigated and sanctions imposed as applicable against the terminal operators.”
Koko, who further stated that the NPA procured equipment for the marine police to ensure security at the port quay apron and waterfront, said security meetings are carried out monthly.
“In addition, the Port Managers superintend over a security meeting on a monthly basis where the Police, DSS, NPA, Customs, Immigrations, NIMASA and PFSOs from NPA and Terminal Operators review security issues.
“Moreover, each terminal operator has its own private security outfit to safeguard cargoes in their yards. The terminals are well illuminated with 24/7 power supply. The terminals have CCTV coverage which are manned by their personnel 24/7.
“The ports also have CCTV manned by NPA security, and any suspicious activity is shared immediately with sister security agencies in the port.
“At the ports, there is an in-house bi-weekly security meeting to review all security challenges and solutions are proffered for immediate implementation.
“Finally, NPA has procured security patrol boats which are manned and operated by marine police to ensure security at the Quays and water fronts,” Koko added.