• Thursday, May 23, 2024
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BusinessDay

#ENDSARS: NPA, insurers undergoing damage evaluation on assets ahead of repairs

Following the attacks by hoodlums on its headquarters building in Marina as well as the administrative building of the Tin-can Island Port both in Lagos during the nationwide #ENDSARS protest, the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) said it is currently undergoing an assessment of the damages with the insurers.

Hadiza Bala Usman, managing director of the NPA, who disclosed this in Lagos on Sunday, assured that all assets of the Authority are comprehensively insured, and would ride on the insurance claims to do most of the repairs.

According to her, the NPA management would only seek the help of the Federal Government to close the gap left during the repair especially for areas that were not covered by insurance.“all our assets are duly insured as required, and we are still in the process of determining the level and value of destruction on the building torched before claiming the insurance cover,” she explained.

She said there is an ongoing integrity test on the area that was burnt to determine how safe it is for NPA personnel to go to the other wing of the building because they are linked.

Recall that Tin-can Island Port was attacked on Tuesday, October 20th 2020 when hoodlums made an attempt to forcefully gain access into the port, attacked the administrative building and set ablaze a truck which was evacuating cargo.

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“It took the combined effort of officers of the port authority police, the police mobile force and the Nigerian Customs Service to repel the attack. The attackers at the headquarters numbering over 300 persons, gained access into the premises at 8:42 am on Wednesday, October 21st 2020 from the outer Broad Street wing brandishing daggers, sticks and cutlasses. After attacking, disarming and chasing the security personnel on duty out of the headquarters premises, the attackers proceeded to burn and vandalise several vehicles belonging to the Authority and some members of staff. They thereafter set a wing of the office building on fire,” Usman explained.

Upon knowledge of the attack, she said, officers of the Nigerian Armed Forces were invited and deployed to the premises and they successfully dispersed the hoodlums and reclaimed possession of the premises following which the Authority’s firemen were able to gain access into the building and put out the raging fire.

“After an assessment of the extent of damage, it was discovered that apart from the annex wing that was burnt, many offices were vandalised, while computers, printers, water dispensers and other electronic devices were looted. A total of 27 vehicles, including cars, utility vehicles, pick up vans and staff buses were set on fire, while 33 other vehicles,

22 of which belong to members of staff were vandalised. A Toyota Prado SUV, a Bajaj Motorcycle and one Hilux patrol van were also stolen from the premises,” she said.

Usman, however, disclosed that the military deployed to the NPA were able to apprehend about six of the hoodlums who are presently in the custodian of the Nigerian Navy, adding that interrogation, as well as prosecution, would be done within the necessary judicial provisions.

Despite the huge material loss, Usman and her entire management team were particularly grateful that no life was lost during the sad incident. “This was in spite of the fact that some members of staff who were on critical duties were in the building at the time of the attack.