Chairman of STOAN, Princess Vicky Haastrup (left), with the NPA Managing Director, Hadiza Bala Usman, during the terminal operators’ visit to the NPA headquarters in Lagos…Monday
The Seaport Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria (STOAN) has described the extent of damage in hoodlums’ recent attack on the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) headquarters in Lagos as “sad and mind-boggling”, and promised support in replacing some of the lost items.
STOAN Chairman, Princess Vicky Haastrup, who led the port operators on a sympathy visit to the NPA management on Monday, said they were saddened by what they saw.
“It’s actually beyond anybody’s comprehension that so much carnage and destruction could be done to a government property, particularly NPA,” Haastrup stated.
“I can imagine what the NPA management has gone through. It must be a very difficult and sad period for you because you put together so much and then some hooligans somewhere can just come and carry out this level of damage to the property.
“We sympathise with you and that is why we all decided to pay you a courtesy visit to let you know that we are with you and are equally very sad, because this is a government establishment where we all benefit from and are a part of, and as well enjoy support with your team of management.
“All the terminal operators in Nigeria are well represented. I assure you that as terminal operators, we are ready to support, especially in replacing some of your office equipment. We will do all we can within our power to support you. I have the assurances of my colleagues that we will support you.
“We are not going to wait for insurance. We have come and have seen the level of damage. This is the time we need to support the NPA. They have always had our back and this is the time we need to have their back.”
Also speaking, the Managing Director of PTML Terminal, Ascanio Russo, who commended the police and navy for repelling the hoodlums that invaded the Tin Can Island Port in the wake of the #EndSARS protest, appealed to the NPA management to check the influx of unauthorised persons around the port area.
He stressed an urgent need to strengthen security in the port, especially at this time, to guide against any future attack on the port. He added: “The situation at Tin Can Island is still very precarious. There are far too many people working around the port and it is not clear what they are doing. We appeal to the NPA to look into this.”
In her response, the NPA Managing Director, Hadiza Bala Usman, thanked the terminal operators for the visit and assured that the agency remained resilient even though it was going through a difficult period.
“We are keen to bounce back and have commenced work. Luckily our IT infrastructure was not damaged. We have insurance cover for literally everything,” she disclosed.
“So we are trying to recover as much as we can through our insurance process to see how we can replace some of our equipment within the shortest possible period so that we can get back to work. It is a tough period for us but we will remain resilient and continue with our work.”
On the imperative for improved port security, she promised to liaise with the Lagos State Government to dislodge miscreants from around the Tin Can Island Port Complex.
STOAN members on the visit included ENL Consortium, APM Terminals, PTML Terminal, Tin Can Island Container Terminal, Apapa Bulk Terminal Limited, Port & Cargo, ECM Terminal, BUA International, Greenview Development Nigeria Limited, Five Star Logistics, PTOL Terminal and Josepdam Port Services.