Published On: Sat, Apr 6th, 2024

NPA Helpless As Touts Take Over Warri Port Collecting Illegal 4k From Truck Drivers

Nigerian-Ports-Authority MD

LAGOS APRIL 6TH (URHOBOTODAY)-There are indications that the un-ease of doing business at the Warri Ports in Delta State has taken a new dimension for the worse, further driving away stakeholders from patronising the port, even as the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has reneged on its promises of bringing a new lease of life to the port.

DAILY TREND investigations revealed that communities around the port have taken over the port gates at Warri Port, collecting N2,000 illegal fee which is unreceipted from every truck that is exiting the port.

Our correspondent gathered that recently, the fee suddenly increased to N4,000, thereby causing chaos and pains for importers at the port.

According to a reliable source (names withheld) who is a senior official of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), the NPA gives so much emphasis to the communities around the port, and they have since taken over the port gates.

“How can these so called communities take over the port gate even to the Knowledge of NPA? They usually collect money from trucks leaving the port gates, but this morning we had a bitter experience

“A truck came to load cargo at Crown Flour Mill at Warri port, as the driver was coming out, before now they use to give the communities N2,000, but all of a sudden, they have increased it to N4,000 without informing anybody

“The driver begged them to collect the N2,000 with a promise to balance up the remaining money, this was around 5.30am when POS operators are yet to open. He urged them to write down his truck number and that they should stop him next time if he refuses to pay up

“The guy causing the confusion, his name is Obinna, he is not even a Itsekiri Indigene. For several hours, trucks were delayed at NPA gate as if they are the lord

“How can the port grow with all these types of rubbish that is being perpetrated by Indigenes of Delta Port? A money that is unreceipted being increased from N2000 to N4000, this is causing delay in exiting of cargoes from the port and importers are suffering huge losses.

Also speaking with DAILY TREND, another port user, Mr Kingsley Majemite, lamented that the kind of illegality happening at Warri Port gate can never be condoned at Lagos Ports.

“Now, how do these Indigenes expect investors to come and invest their money in Niger Delta Ports?

“The port manager here has tried severally to send these hoodlums away, but after dislodging them for a while, they usually find their way back

“The Federal Government needs to wake up from their slumber because Warri Port as far as Nigeria is concerned today, is a goldmine, but only Lagos is working and this is because of the activities of the communities who are lazy and are not ready to work

“We must not allow Delta Port to die, it is one of the goldmine where NPA is making good money apart from Apapa and Tincan Island Port. The NPA must not allow some individual interests to kill the port

“People are afraid to make use of the port because of all these, and the Ogiame, the Olu of Warri is not even is support of all these kinds of activities” Majemite stated

It is pertinent to report that apart from invasion of port gates by touts and encroahments, NPA has failed to solve the issue of the breakwaters to the port, which collapsed about ten years ago.

These has made it impossible for Warri Port to actually serve as a hub for activities in the south-south, and even some of the commercial centers in the south-east.

The Managing Director of NPA, Mohammed Bello-Koko had said that the Agency has observed a lot of encroachment, even on the path leading to the port and the need for NPA to take possession.

“If you drive away squatters and you don’t put those lands to use, that means you haven’t taken full possession.
They’re so large and probably too expensive to finance, so the best thing to do is to sit down and think of what commercial values they have.

“Also, we have a lot of court cases against encroachers, and I’ve asked that we should call each and every one of them for out-of-court settlements.
Some of the cases have been there for ten years, and it doesn’t really make sense; all parties are losing, and it’s about time we sit down and start negotiating so that those lands can be put to use” Bello-Koko had stated in an interview


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