Police blames Navy for attacks on ships at Nigerian ports

Assistant Inspector General of Police, Maritime Command, Alkali Baba Usman
Alkali Baba Usman

The Assistant Inspector General of Police, Maritime Command, Alkali Baba Usman says the command has been unable to ensure the security of ships at berth due to a festering altercation with officials of the Nigerian Navy.

“We often provide armed guard on vessels but are being prevented by the Navy. However, these merchant vessels need armed protection while waiting to discharge their cargo because they are often attacked by robbers at such moments. We are currently collaborating with the Navy on how to resolve this problem,” Usman said during a visit to the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) last week. 

The Police boss also lamented the challenges the marine police is facing in securing the nation’s waterways, even as he blamed the inability of the marine police to provide adequate security for ships at berths as a result of short supply of logistics.  

SHIPS & PORTS DAILY reported exclusively that no fewer than nine ships were robbed at berths in various port terminals across the country between March and April 2018. 

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Usually authoritative sources at NPA headquarters, Marina informed SHIPS & PORTS DAILY that while the various attacks were reported to the Managing Director’s office, the NPA management and Police authorities have failed to take necessary action to put a stop to the security breaches.

Some of the ships attacked at the ports include MV Pamyat; MV Asia Ruby, MV Aquata, MT Sichem New York, MV Kiana and MV Dino.

MV Pamyat, with International Maritime Organisation (IMO) number 8701040 was attacked at berth 14 of the Lagos Port Complex (LPC), Apapa o March 2, 2018 when some bandits gained access into the ship with ease.