By Steve Agbota
the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and the Lagos State Government (LASG) and Nigerian Police have dismantled illegal checkpoints along Port access roads as part of efforts to curb incessant extortion of truck drivers in the environs.
For years, the issue of extortion and corruption had been a major concern for maritime stakeholders especially the truck owners and drivers along the Port corridors.
However, the statement obtained by Daily Sun on Monday evening quoted: “Pursuant to the implementation of action points in the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the NPA and the Lagos State Government (LASG) on truck traffic control and enforcement in Apapa and environs signed on March 8, 2022, the management of NPA has enlisted the support of the police high command in curbing the activities of extortionists and other forms of illegalities along the roads leading to Apapa and TinCan Island Port Complex.
“The Managing Director NPA Mohammed Bello Koko while receiving the AIG Zone 2 Command Bode Adeyinka Adeleke and his counterpart in the Maritime Police Command Ibrahim Kaoje on “Thursday, April 21, 2022 at the NPA headquarters had lamented the proliferation of illegal checkpoints along the ports corridor and got the consent of the two AIGs to join the NPA management on a spot check of the port access road to ascertain the reality on the ground,” the statement reads.
According to the statement, the spot check which was conducted on Sunday, April 24, 2022 and had in attendance the NPA management and the two AIGs, Lagos State Commissioner of Police and representative of the Lagos State Government indeed confirmed the reality of several illegal checkpoints which the AIGs promptly issued directive to be dismantled with a marching order to the Area Commanders and Divisional Police Officers (DPO) to ensure sustainability of orderliness as they will be held accountable for breaches going forward.
“Further to this, a special mobile court has been assigned by the Lagos State Government to assure speedy dispensation of justice and fast track the prosecution of persons arrested perpetrating acts of extortion, unauthorized collections, illegal checkpoints or any other unwholesome practice inhibiting the ease of doing business around the ports.
“It will be recalled that previous efforts at curbing the acts of extortion being aided and abetted by uniformed men and other officials of government had been hampered by issues of jurisdictional overlaps between the Ports Authority Police Command (PAPC) and the Lagos State Police Command.
“With this partnership between the NPA and the two Police Commands whose jurisdiction covers the Lagos maritime logistics ring, it is expected that those conducting business in the ports will heave a sigh of relief,” the statement added.
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