The attack on the Corporate Headquarters of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) in Lagos, by hoodlums who hijacked a nationwide peaceful protest by aggrieved youths, has left the Heads of maritime agencies in the maritime sector in utter shock.
The Heads of Maritime agencies lamented the extent of destruction wreaked when they paid a solidarity visit to the NPA headquarters in Lagos recently.
Speaking on behalf of the chief executives, Managing Director of the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), George Moghalu, condemned the assault, saying the level of destruction is monumental and constitutes a huge loss to the maritime community as a whole.
“Seeing the level of destruction here first hand, we feel very sad about the turn of events. We are all in solidarity with the NPA management. This is a great loss to the entire country and we need to educate ourselves more that violence is not the best way to go about things” Moghalu stated.
In a similar vein, Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Bashir Jamoh, regretted that the maritime industry was made to face this challenge despite still battling with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. He said port facilities were critical national assets that should be collectively protected.
“Port facilities are invaluable economic assets and they are critical to national development. It behooves us all as citizens to be custodians of this monumental infrastructure built for our collective good” he said.
While commending the Managing Director of NPA, Ms. Hadiza Balla Usman, for providing leadership at this trying time for the agency, Jamoh said the Nigerian economy would have suffered considerably if the destruction had led to the suspension of port operations.
Hear him, “This is a sad event, especially, for our industry that is still battling with the COVID-19 pandemic. Port operations are central to the activities of all the maritime agencies. We are just lucky that this did not stop shipping operations because this would have negatively impacted or crippled the Nigerian economy.”
The NPA Managing Director called the attack an assault on the maritime industry, saying the level of destruction is incomprehensible.
Other chief executives of maritime agencies present were Executive Secretary, Nigeria Shippers’ Council, Barr. Hassan Bello; Registrar/Chief Executive Officer, Council For the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN), Sam Nwakohu; and Rector, Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN), Oron, Commodore Duja Effedua (retd.).
Recall that the NPA headquarters was recently targeted by mobsters who exploited the #ENDSARS protest against police brutality to cause mayhem in many cities around the country.