. . . As NPA axes safe anchorage
By Godwin Oritse
DESPITE the abolition of the controversial safe anchorage area by the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, where vessels and crew members wait before they proceed to berths, shipping companies still pay $2,000 per day to operators of the area.
Speaking Vanguard Maritime Report at a maritime stakeholders meeting in Lagos last week, Mr. Mark Wash, Executive Director, ENL Consortium, operators of berth A, B and C at the Apapa port, confirmed that NPA has told shipping firms to stop paying for protection at the ‘safe anchorage’.
But he hinted that some other authorities may be sustaining the safe anchorage space after the stoppage, adding that vessels are still paying as much as $2,000 per day to have their vessels protected from attacks.
Recall that the NPA has asked shipping companies in Nigeria to stop paying for private security and escorts onboard their vessels while approaching the Lagos Anchorage Area.
Reacting to complaints by General Manager, Operations, Greenview Development Nigeria Limited (GDNL), Mr. Yakubu Abdullahi, that the Dangote owned terminal was attacked twice in a month due to lack of presence of security patrol, NPA’s Executive Director, Marine and Operations, Eng Sekonte Davies, disclosed that NPA has procured some vessels to enhance waterfront security at the ports.
He assured that NPA would take responsibilities of securing vessels at the ports and anchorage area, adding that the Authority is partnering with the Nigerian Navy with a view to strengthening waterfront security at the port.
Shipping companies at the stakeholders’ meeting complained that some private security outfits collect as much as $2000 per day to secure vessels against attack outside the Lagos anchorage.
But Davies stated: “Today, marine notice has been issued. There is no longer any anchorage addressed as ‘Safe Anchorage’ . We are aware that $2000 is being charged on the first day and every other subsequent day is $1500, we know that, and that would not exist anymore from today.
“To provide anchorage is NPA’s responsibility and the Navy has been in collaboration with us to ensure that every anchorage of NPA is safe. The National Security Adviser and the Chief of Naval Staff are collaborating with us.
“NPA has procured security patrol boats and we are going to take delivery of some of them in the next six weeks. If not for a few issues, by now, they should have been here which will enhance our water front patrols and enhance our security operations.”