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NPA Board Chair, MD differ on fire effect

The Chairman, Board of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Chief Akin Ricketts, has warned that the damage done to a critical facility such as that of the NPA would affect the economic activities of the nation’s ports.

According to him, Nigeria, being a largely import-dependent nation, makes the ports very strategic to the nation’s economy. Ricketts, contended that for the fact that the NPA as a Federal Government parastatal plays a critical role in the maritime sector, the vandalism of its facilities will affect economic activities.

But in a swift reaction, NPA’s managing director, Hadiza Bala-Usman, faulted Rickets’ position, arguing that the damage will in no way affect the authority’s operations. According to Bala-Usman, “the situation has not affected operations of the authority in any way as we have continued to render our services unhindered.”  Stakeholders and analysts in the maritime sector reckon that the assurance by the managing director was aimed at dousing fears about possible disruptions of ports activities.

NPA’s General Manager, Corporate and Strategic Communications, Engr. Adams Jatto, in a statement explained that the twin attacks on the NPA’s Tin Can Island facility and the Authority’s head office, held on October 20 and 21 respectively.  “The management of the Nigerian Ports Authority regrets the attack on its 26/28 Marina Road, Lagos, corporate headquarters and the Tin Can Island Port by unknown persons on Wednesday October 21st and Tuesday October 20th, 2020 respectively. The attack on the Tin Can Island Port commenced at 9:45am on Tuesday October 20th 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.

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

A total of Twenty-seven (27) vehicles, including cars, utility vehicles, pick up vans and staff buses were set on fire, while Thirty-three (33) other vehicles, twenty-two 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.

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