Terminal operators lament pirates attack on product vessels

Oil-terminal10 November 2013, Lagos – MEMBERS of the Port Facility Security Officers, PFSO, Forum of the Lagos Maritime Security zone have decried the incessant attacks on vessels berthed at 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 to find a lasting solution to the recent waves of attack on vessels at some of the facilities.

Some of the affected facilities have resorted to running to the Western Naval Command for security of their vessels when they sail in the Lagos ports.

It was resolved, that the presence of the Naval personnel from NNS Beecroft who sometimes provide 24 hour surveillance on these vessels while they are being discharged of their content has to be consolidated.

The minutes of the meeting confirmed that there had been series of attacks by sea robbers on at least three jetties and tank farms in the last one month, a development that brought about increased apprehension in the Lagos port area

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, the robbers jumped off their boat after the craft was shelled by the naval officers.

Even though none of the security officers was willing to be quoted for obvious reasons, our source at the meeting confirmed that the attack at a popular tank farm at Tin Can was confirmed by the chief security officer.

Attempts to get the reaction of the Navy was unsuccessful, as the telephone of the spokesperson; Olabisi Wei was switched off when our correspondent called.

However, the port facility security officers blamed the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, for inadequate policing of the water ways leading to the various terminals, jetties and tank farms.

It was further gathered that the concession agreement the government went into with the concessionaires does not include security of the water front hence the lack of security in this area of the port.
*Godwin Oritse, Vanguard

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