Apapa residents have now created new ways to store cargoes in order to avoid port duties of the Nigerian Port Authority (NPA). Some businessmen residing in Apapa now convert their apartments into private jetties and terminals.
NPA has found that the businessmen acquire property in Apapa because of their proximity to the waterways. It was disclosed that the apartments were used to berth barges and evacuate cargoes secretly without the detection of the port authority.
Confrontation with NPA: The port authority launched an investigation into the devious means after getting wind of the illegal operation. NPA officials were, however, confronted and attacked when they tried gaining access to some of the buildings.
However, despite the confrontation, the Managing Director, NPA, Hadiza Bala-Usman, said the port authority was able to conclude its investigation from afar, and sanctions would be rolled out soon.
“When we tried to gain access into some of those properties on Creek Road, we were attacked, we had to turn back, but I and my team were able to finish our investigation when we accessed the place through the waterways. We have taken pictures and sanctions will be netted out soon,” she said, through the Lagos Port Manager, Bola Olotu who represented her at a stakeholders’ meeting organised by the Nigerian Shippers’ Council in Lagos.
Supporting Bala-Usman’s claim, the Chairman of Apapa Residents Association, Brigadier Ago Vaughan, said properties in Government Reserved Area are now being converted to private jetties and terminals handling trucks daily after they’ve been purchased by some businessmen.
NPA boss also facing sanction: Nairametrics reported that the Auditor-General, Anthony Ayine called for the probe of the management of the NPA over irregularities observed in a N7.5 billion contract for Shore Erosion Control Work at Akipelai, Ayakoro and Otuoke towns in Bayelsa State. This made the Auditor-General suggest that NPA’s MD should be sanctioned.