The Nigerian Ports Authority has strengthened security at TinCan Island ports with the erection of a concrete fence and the installation of an automated access control gate.
The Managing Director of NPA, Mohammed Bello-Koko, said revealed this recently during a tour of the TinCan port to ascertain the level of execution of the contract awarded.
He said that the fence was constructed to ensure that only people that should be in the port had access.
Bello-Koko said that with the fencing entrance into the ports would be restricted.
“We can see that Tincan 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.”
He added that by reducing the number of persons and restricting entry into the port, pilfering, theft, thugs and also miscreants would be reduced into the port.
“Then, it will create an enabling business environment within the port as referred by the International Ship and Port Facility Code,’’ he said.
He noted that the fencing of Tincan would ensure individuals who had no business in the ports were kept out and assured that the usage of automated access control gates would be enforced.
The NPA boss expressed joy with what he saw at the port, adding that there were fewer people on the port premises compared with in the past.
According to him, “We will keep enforcing and restricting entry into the port to only those that have businesses in the port.”
He said that the agency was safeguarding the waterside by increasing patrol.
Bello-Koko, however, said the agency had bought a security patrol boat for the waterside and collaborated with the Nigerian Navy to ensure the security of the ports in Lagos.
“We are working with the Nigerian Navy Ship Beecroft and there are parts of the port along the waterway that we felt we should also fence. We are looking at the best option due to the soft nature of the ground. So, if we cannot fence the waterfront, we should patrol it; restrict access into the port from the waterside using patrol boats and surveillance. Our security men are up to the task and we will keep giving them the tool that they need to improve communication. We will keep improving it and we will buy more patrol boats to ensure the waterfront is also secured.
“We are engaging them through community and stakeholders interactions. We also are working with the Lagos State government. We once had a 360-degree operation which went around 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 said.
He added that the rehabilitation of internal roads in the port in the country was ongoing and was aimed at reducing the complaints of users of the port.
“People are complaining about the road leading to the port, which is the responsibility 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.
“They have created a drainage outlet into the main creek to ensure evacuation of water. We are doing it at other port locations in the country. We are doing that in Onne, Calabar and also Rivers ports, just to ensure that roads within the port are in a very good state,’’ he said.