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Inferno did not stall NPA’s operations, says Bala Usman

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Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala Usman while conduncting the media round the ruins of the authority’s headquarters in Marina, Lagos.

. Says 60 vehicles destroyed, computers, printers, water dispensers looted
The Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala Usman, has assured that the setting ablaze of the headquarters did not stall operations of the Authority, assuring that the entire facility is comprehensively insured.

Bala-Usman, who revealed this during the on-the-spot assessment of the damage, said that over 300 hoodlums, on Wednesday, October 21, attacked, vandalised and burnt sections of the headquarters situated at 26/28, Marina Road in Lagos.

She added that 27 vehicles parked within the premises of the building were completely razed, while 33 vehicles were vandalised, adding that the value of the damages cannot be ascertained at the moment because insurance companies are still conducting vetting processes.

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She also bemoaned the attack on TinCan Island Port. “The attack on the Tin-Can Island Port commenced at 9:45 am on Tuesday, October 20, 2020. The hoodlums made an attempt to forcefully gain access into the port, attacked the administrative building and set ablaze a truck, which was evacuating cargo. It took the combined effort of officers of the port authority police, the police mobile force and the Nigerian Customs Service to repel the attack.

“The attackers at the headquarters, numbering over 300 persons, gained access into the premises at 8:42 am on Wednesday, October 21, 2020, from the outer Broad Street wing brandishing daggers, sticks and cutlasses.

“After attacking, disarming and chasing the security personnel on duty out of the headquarters premises, the attackers proceeded to burn and vandalise several vehicles belonging to the Authority and some members of staff. They thereafter set a wing of the office building on fire.

“Upon knowledge of the attack, officers of the Nigerian Armed Forces were invited and deployed to the premises. They successfully dispersed the hoodlums and reclaimed possession of the premises following which the Authority’s firemen were able to gain access into the building and put out the raging fire.

“After an assessment of the extent of damage, it was discovered that apart from the annex wing that was burnt, many offices were vandalised, while computers, printers, water dispensers and other electronic devices were looted.

“A total of 27 vehicles, including cars, utility vehicles, pick up vans and staff buses were set on fire, while 33 other vehicles, 22 of which belong to members of staff were vandalised. A Toyota Prado SUV, a Bajaj Motorcycle and one Hilux patrol van were also stolen from the premises.

“All assets of the Authority are comprehensively insured, and insurers are currently undergoing an assessment of the damages.

“The management of the Authority is particularly grateful that no life was lost in this sad incident. This is in spite of the fact that some members of staff who were on critical duties were in the building at the time of the attack,” she said.

“The Authority recognises the gallantry of men of the Nigerian Armed Forces and our firemen whose intervention restored normalcy. We also appreciate the concerns of all stakeholders and citizens who have reached out with kind words of support and encouragement.

“All stakeholders and the general public are hereby assured that the situation has not affected operations of the Authority in any way as we have continued to render our services unhindered,” she said.

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