No fewer than three petroleum product jetties and tank farms located in Apapa, Lagos State, have been attacked by sea robbers over the past one month, SHIPS & PORTS DAILY can authoritatively reveal.
Members of the Port Facility Security Officers (PFSO) Forum, Lagos Maritime Security Zone, who confirmed this recent trend to exacerbating insecurity on the nation’s waterways, decried the incessant attacks on vessels berthed in some of the oil terminals in the Lagos port area.
Speaking at the 71st meeting of the Forum, PFSO’s Chairman, Mr. Subaru Anataku, said that the group will alert the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) on the development with a view to finding lasting solution to the menace.
The minutes of the meeting confirmed in Lagos last week that there had been series of attacks by sea robbers in the last one month, a development that has brought about increased apprehension at the terminals.
A security source told our correspondent last week that during one of those deadly encounters at a petroleum product jetty at Tin Can Island Port Complex (TCIPC), Lagos; the robbers jumped off their boat after the craft was shelled by naval officers.
Though none of the security officers who attended the PFSO Forum meeting was willing to be quoted for obvious reasons, our source confirmed that the attack at a popular tank farm at the TCIPC was confirmed by its chief security officer.
Some of the affected facilities are said to have resorted to engaging men of the Western Naval Command of the Nigerian Navy to beef up security to vessels at their jetties.
It was said at the meeting that to protect the petroleum product vessels, Naval personnel from NNS Beecroft sometimes man twenty four surveillance on them while they are being discharged of their content.
When contacted, Information Officer, Western Naval Command of the Nigerian Navy, Lieutenant Commodore Williams Olabisi said he was unaware of any attack on tank farms by sea robbers.
“Honestly, I am not aware of any attacks,” he told SHIPS & PORTS DAILY.