NPA partners police, Lagos to curb extortion along ports corridor

The management of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) said it is partnering with the police high command and the Lagos State Government to curb extortion and other forms of illegalities along the roads leading to Apapa and Tin-Can Island Port Complex.

According to the NPA, the partnership is in line with the implementation of action points in the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the NPA and the Lagos State Government on truck traffic control and enforcement in Apapa and environs signed on March 8, 2022.
Receiving Bode Adeyinka Adeleke, the Inspector General of Police (AIGs), Zone 2 Command, and Ibrahim Kaoje, his counterpart in the Maritime Police Command recently at the NPA headquarters in Lagos, Mohammed Bello-Koko, the managing director of NPA, decried the proliferation of illegal checkpoints along the ports corridor.

Bello-Koko however 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.

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The spot check which was conducted on Sunday 24th April 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.

This resulted in the AIGs issuing directive for the checkpoints to be dismantled with a marching order to the Area Commanders and Divisional Police Officers to ensure the 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, unauthorised collections, illegal checkpoints, or any other unwholesome practice inhibiting the ease of doing business around the ports.

Recall 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.

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