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NPA partners UK border force on port security

The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) says it is partnering the United Kingdom Border Force to improve port security and facilitate movement of persons and goods at the nation’s seaports.

The partnership is expected to cover security measures, coordination, information sharing and joint operations, to check persons or activities that may cause harm to operations and investments in the port.

NPA further said the partnership would help to safeguard ship and cargo traffic, improve intelligence gathering and deepen revenue from maritime trade.

It would also foster critical and sustainable capacity building and manpower development; prioritise the acquisition, deployment and utilisation of resources sensitive to threats and issues related to maritime security.

Mohammed Bello-Koko, acting managing director of NPA, who was represented by Onari Brown, executive director, marine and operations, when NPA hosted the team in Lagos recently, said the partnership with the UK Border Force would yield long term economic benefits to both Nigeria and Britain.

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Kris Hawksfield, UK Border Force regional operations manager, West Africa, who commended the NPA for providing a safe environment for port services in the country, said the UK agency was optimistic of the partnership enhancing Nigeria’s border management capabilities, including strengthening the capacity of border law enforcement agencies to protect revenue, disrupt criminal activities like money laundering, drugs and human trafficking, as well as terrorism.

Other benefits, he listed, include decrease in incidences of illicit trade in and out of the country, better compliance to trade laws, culminating in improved performance of Nigerian Ports and increase in the country’s global reputation.

The Border Force is a law enforcement agency charged by the UK government to manage immigration and Customs checks at all British seaports and airports.

The collaboration with the NPA entails the establishment of an Electronic Cargo Tracking System (ECTS), Joint Port Control Unit (JPU) and Mobile Task Force (MTF) with capacity to enhance the work of Nigerian law enforcement agencies.

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