Shipping agents operating in Delta Port, Warri have written a petition to the Chairman of Escravos Pilot Committee of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) alleging unbridled extortion and intimidation by marine pilots in the area.
In a letter dated 8th May, 2014 addressed to the Chairman, Coordinating Committee, Escravos Pilot Committee, Nigerian Ports Authority, the shipping agents said the pilots demand for as much as N200,000 to bring vessels into the port.
“We the Shipping Agent(s) operating in the Delta Ports areas wish to draw your attention to the recent extortion and intimidations from the Escravos pilots saying that any vessel above 5.8m draft cannot come into Warri Pilotage Area. They are asking for the sum of N200,000 (Two hundred thousand naira) before such vessels are allowed to proceed inward. We the Shipping Agents know that NPA draft for Warri is 6.4m as advertised by NPA,” the agents stated in their letter.
They claimed that the situation is causing delays in bringing vessels into the port.
“It may interest you to know that M/T Alpha Prosperity was delayed for about 3 days before proceeding inward. This situation is unexpectable (sic) to us, as we cannot compete with our counterparts in other ports. This action is contributing to crippling the Delta ports more.
“We call on your board to look into this matter with a view to bringing a lasting solution to this problem,” the aggrieved shipping agents stated in the letter signed by Igherebuo Efe who described himself as ‘Leader of the House’ and Aletor Aibeloje, Secretary