The Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala Usman, has disclosed that the revenue generating agency incurred more than a billion naira losses to the recent #EndSARS protests in the country.
The disclosure came as the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) declared readiness to partner with NPA on goods evacuation from the ports as a way of solving the problem of gridlock caused on the roads leading to the ports.
Issues bordering on the loss incurred by NPA from vandalism of its properties by irate youths and looters during the #EndSARS protests came up during defence of NPA 2021 budget before the Senate Committee on Marine Transport.
According to Usman, N807million has been earmarked for rehabilitation of the burnt portion of the agency’s building. This, she explained, is different from monies to be spent on replacement of 27 vehicles set ablaze by the vandals and three that were stolen.
“These operational vehicles need to be replaced as soon as the insurance companies come up with the aspect of the loss to be shouldered.
“Aside burnt building and vehicles, other working tools, like 317 computers as well as photocopiers, were looted. The cost of replacement will be above a billion naira when added to the N807million already estimated for rehabilitation of the burnt building”, she said.
The NPA boss assured the committee that the agency, based on ongoing arrangement with the Lagos State Government and NIWA, would come up with lasting solution to the gridlock on the roads leading to the ports in Lagos. According to her, an electronic call up system has been put in place for trucks accessing the ports for evacuation of goods.
“Trucks park has been established in Orile to serve as call up centre for any truck waiting to evacuate goods at the ports.
“Besides this arrangement, an ultra modern rail line leading to Apapa port and water transportation being offered by NIWA, are also helping out,” she said.
The Managing Director of NIWA, George Moghalu, in his presentation, told the committee that the N3.9billlion budget estimates proposed for the agency in 2021 would be used for the development of inland water transportation.