Imoke decries abuses in coastal operations

The Cross River State Governor Liyel Imoke on Friday kicked against the porous nature and poor management of coastal operations of the National Inland Waterways Authority jetty in Calabar.

The governor spoke in Calabar when he led a team of security and senior government officials on inspection visit to the jetty.

The jetty, which was originally established to provide transportation for persons and goods within the country, is currently receiving vessels conveying goods and passengers to and from several African coasts.

The governor, who was represented by his deputy, Mr. Efiok Cobham, expressed government’s dissatisfaction with the way the jetty was being operated.

The team, which included the State Security Adviser, Mr. Rekpene Bassey, and the Special Adviser to the Governor on Public Transportation, Mr. Edem Ekong, also observed that there were poor security arrangements and total absence of basic port regulation compliance in the jetty.

Imoke noted, “The state government’s inspection of the facility revealed that it is currently being used as a point of entry into the country for which it was not originally designed for. We must register government’s displeasure at the way activities are being carried out at the jetty.”

Due to the lack of amenities to carry out inspection of bulk cargo at the jetty, Imoke considered the facility inadequate and therefore unsafe for the use to which it was being put.

The governor, therefore, asked the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to review the ongoing assignment of coastal operations to the NIWA jetty in order to ensure safety and security of lives and goods.

Responding to the governor’s observation, the Calabar Manager of the NIWA jetty, Rufus Oladimeji, appealed for provision of scanners to enhance effective inspection of goods and passengers coming in and out of the country.

He also pleaded with the state government to rehabilitate the road leading to the jetty to ease vehicular movement.

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