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NPA, stakeholders decry incessant attacks by pirates

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Managing Director of NPA, Hadiza Bala-Usman

The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and stakeholders in the maritime industry have decried the incessant attacks on vessels by pirates on the country’s waterways.

The Managing Director of NPA, Ms Hadiza Usman, said this on Friday in Port Harcourt during a stakeholders meeting.

Represented by Mr Mohammed Bello, the Executive Director (Finance and Admin), of NPA, Usman said that the Authority was collaborating with the Nigerian Navy to provide security for vessels.

According to her, the narrow and shallow Bonny Channel did not help matters as it made Nigeria Liquefied Gas vessels passing through it susceptible to attacks by pirates.

The Managing Director emphasised the need to dualise the channel to allow two vessels to pass through it at the same time.

She, however, said the dualisation would involve the Federal Ministry of Transport, NPA and others.

Usman noted that other facilities at the dock yard were decaying and needed to be renovated, adding that it required budgetary allocation.

Mr Abubakar Umar, NPA Manager in Rivers in his welcome address, said the port had been restructured to achieve optimum operational efficiency

Umar said the serene environment at the port had attracted more importers, increased shipping traffic to Rivers Port as well as increased revenue generation.

He, however, said the port had its own challenges, which included lack of Finger Jetty at the dockyard, operational Tug Boats and patrol boats among others.

The stakeholders said there was the need to address the insecurity challenge at the port as a matter of urgency.

“During one of the attacks, crew members ran into the engine room to hide while the vessel floated’’, describing the situation as “risky’’.

According to the stakeholders, the management should also tackle the dredging and dualisation of the Bonny Channel.

The stakeholders said some importers had diverted their ships to the Republic of Benin to discharge their cargoes, a situation they said had caused loss of revenue to the Federal Government.


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Hadiza UsmanNPA
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