Heads of maritime agencies have expressed shock at the attack and level of destruction that took place at the corporate headquarters of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) in Lagos recently.
The NPA headquarters annex was set ablaze by suspected hoodlums who hijacked an otherwise peaceful protest against police brutality in the country.
The maritime chiefs expressed their shock on Friday during a solidarity visit to the burnt facility.
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 was 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 was quoted as saying in a press release issued on Friday by the public affairs unit of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).
The release also quoted the Director-General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Bashir Jamoh, as expressing regret over the incident.
“Port facilities are invaluable economic assets and they are critical to national development. It behoves us all as citizens to be custodians of this monumental infrastructure built for our collective good,” Jamoh said.
Jamoh said the Nigerian economy would have suffered considerably if the destruction had led to the suspension of port operations.
He said, “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.”
NPA Managing Director, Hadiza Bala Usman, said the attack was an assault on the maritime industry, stating that the level of destruction “is incomprehensible”.
Other maritime chief executives on the visit include the Executive Secretary, Nigeria Shippers’ Council, Hassan Bello; Registrar, Council For the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN), Sam Nwakohu; and Rector, Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron, Duja Effedua.
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