The management of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has raised alarm over rising incidence of extortion along the access roads to the Lagos and Tin Can Island Ports by non state actors.
This is coming on the heels of the two day clearance operations the Authority undertook earlier this month to rid the Port corridor of shanties and illegal structures which harbour the criminal elements that are perpetrating these acts of extortion.
On the eve of the port corridor clearance operations carried out in collaboration with Lagos State Government, the Managing Director /CEO NPA, Mohammed Bello Koko said: “these acts of extortion and allied illegalities are injurious to trade facilitation, which is our core function and we cannot allow these nefarious characters make nonsense of the gateways to the national economy which the ports constitute”.
Bello Koko added: “we had in the past visited punitive measures on of our staff who were complicit in such unethical practices, and I want to reiterate that once we are confronted with evidence of any our staff involved in these acts of sabotage, we would sanction them in line with the public service rules and our conditions of service which has zero tolerance for such malfeasance.”
Koko had, whilst receiving the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Idowu Owohunwa earlier this month at the NPA Headquarters, enlisted the support of the police in tackling the extortion menace.
Bello Koko specifically cited “the jurisdictional rule that restricts the powers of the Port Authority Police Command, saying: “this is the more reason why we are calling for increased synergy between PAPC and officers of the Lagos State Police Command.”