By Godfrey Bivbere
HOODLUMS have taken over the port holding bay at the second gate end of Tin-can Island port, Apapa, Lagos.
The holding bay facility was built to accommodate trucks waiting to go into the port and prevent them from parking along the road as they do presently, causing traffic gridlocks.
Vanguard Maritime Report investigation revealed that the hoodlums have turned the facility into make-shift homes while littering the place with human wastes.
A clearing agent who operates at the Tin-can Island port told Vanguard Maritime Reportthat the hoodlums now attack motorists and bike riders who ply that route in the nights.
While he said port operators have informed the management of the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, to do something about the situation, he warned that unless urgent steps are taken to address the issue, the hoodlums may become emboldened and begin to attack people during the day.
Port Manager of Tin-can Island Port, Engr. Emmanuel Akporherhi, told Vanguard Maritime Report that the holding bay is still under the management of the Federal Ministry of Works.
Akporherhi said that the facility is important and would have been useful to easing congestion at the port adding that the management of NPA had demanded it be handed over to the Authority for completion of the shore protection works.
But Akporherhi said he was not aware of attacks at the location, though he promised to look into the issue and take action if necessary.
Managing Director of NPA, Ms Hadiza Usman, during a courtesy visit to Vanguard Newspaper last year, had said that NPA had wanted to take over the facility and complete it but lamented that the ministry had claimed that the shore protection contract was tired to that of the holding bay and therefore could not be separated.
Reacting to the development, President of the Association of Maritime Truck Owners, AMATO, Remi Ogungbemi, said the solution is for the government to complete the project and put it to use.
Ogungbemi said that the facility would help to take the trucks away from the roads and stop the congestion along the road.