Operatives of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) involved in the boarding of vessels for inspection on their arrival at the ports have been barred from demanding or receiving gifts and souvenirs from ship crews.
The measures which has been approved by the Ports Facility Security Officers Forum is part of the strategies to instill professionalism in the handling of vessels and forestall the complaints of extortion against vessel inspectors and ensure that safety is no longer compromised.
On the downside, however, only the NPA has taken this measure which may limit its effectiveness. Apart NPA officials, operatives of the Nigeria Immigration Service and Port Health also board vessels.
The measure will also reduce access to the ports, according to NPA’s Assistant General Manager, Security, Mr. Mohammed Khalni, who told the Forum that port access cards and other requirements are needed to access the ports even as other measures are also being considered to make the port areas more secured.
He said that since the security agencies in the ports have been pruned, access into the ports should be further restricted.
According to him, the committee that was set up to ensure enforcement of the Executive Order by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has also constituted a Task Force that will use the Lagos Port Complex as a case study.
“Various measures have been put in place to reduce access to the ports, even with a port pass, other documents are now required to gain access. Already, there are measures in place to address and eradicate all forms of exploitation and extortion in the ports. The collection and acceptance of gift items and souvenirs from captains and crew members when boarding vessels have been abolished forthwith,” Khalin stated.