Nigeria moves to safeguard security at ports
Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) said it will not allow vessels which are not compliant with International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) requirements to berth at the nation’s ports.
In addition, the NPA is ramping up security hardware at a range of ports.
Vessels berthing in Nigeria must now meet a national ship security plan that is synonymous with Level 2 of the ISPS code.
Managing director of the NPA, Malam Habib Abdullahi, said in a statement on 12 June that the ship security plans had taken effect from that day onward, further adding that “all the newly acquired security equipment is expected to be in place before the end of September”.
The equipment Mr Abdullahi referred to includes CCTV systems, X-Ray machines and security scanners, as well as a number of waterfront patrol boats and computerised port gates which allow a meticulous level of control in deciding who is granted access into Nigerian ports.
Nigeria’s Guardian newspaper reported that the equipment is likely to feature in the ports of Apapa, Tin Can Island, Rivers, Onne, Calabar and Delta, with a view to ensuring the safety of ships and their cargo.
The move for greater security will go some distance in easing the collective concern around issues of piracy and armed robbery in the region.
Former Nigerian president Ernest Shonekan recently told the Premium Times that “Nigeria needs to collaborate with other African countries to tackle critical issues in the maritime industry.”
He concluded: “Nigerians must realise that our new position as the leading economy in Africa places some heavy responsibilities on the country.”
These heavy responsibilities provide the context that has brought the NPA to advance its security given that Nigeria is increasingly a key player in the global market.