The Nigerian Port Authority (NPA) has commissioned a 24-hour food canteen at the Lagos Port Complex (LPC), Apapa as part of effort towards enhancing efficient service delivery and sanitizing the activities of food vendors at the port.
Speaking at the commissioning ceremony held on Tuesday in Apapa, Executive Director, Marine and Operations of NPA, Dr. Sokonte Davies said the 24-hour port user canteen which is the first in the history of NPA was created in line with the Federal Government Executive Order on Ease of Doing Business to cater for all port users especially those that work at night.
This, according to him will help address security challenges as port users would no longer need to go out at night of the port premises to look for food.
“This is a great initiative and we are happy that this can happen. It is another milestone in the history of NPA and Lagos Port Complex as such a canteen had never existed before.
“With this, the time wasted and the security challenges facing workers and those who do business within the port area in going to look for food will be reduced. Imagine somebody who is hungry by 1.00 a.m.
“What makes somebody not to work very well is food. So, we felt people should not have any reason not to do their work very well,” he said.
He commended the Port Manager of Lagos Port Complex Apapa ; Hajia Aisha Ali-Ibrahim for the initiative, which he said will also help promote a healthy workforce at the port.
Earlier in her remarks, Ali-Ibrahim said with the commissioning of the canteen, no other food vendor that is not licensed by NPA would be allow to operate within the port premises.
She assured that the canteen would cater for all categories of port users including motor boys at an affordable price.
She said, “What we eat and where we eat matters a lot. Anybody that is authorised including motor boyS can come in here and eat. We tried as much as possible to do a good pricing so that if you come here, you can eat anything you like and can afford.
“As soon as we flag this off today, all illegal food vendors are moving out of the port and we are serious about it. With the support of the NPA security, Police and Customs, we are assured that we will achieve that. We could not do this earlier because we did not have the canteen in place but now that we have it in place, we have all the right to do our job properly.”
Chief Medical Officer of the port, Mrs. Chinwe Nwokolo said all the food handlers have been screened and certified fit to handle food provided to ports users.
On his part, representative of the Commissioner of Port Police, Adeyemi Gbola assured of adequate security by the police to guard against influx of unwanted persons at the port.
“We are going to provide the needed security because we don’t want violence here and we want all persons that will be coming here to conduct themselves well,” he said.