The Nigerian Ports Authority reiterated its commitment to waterways that are safe for navigation of boats and vessels. The agency’s Harbour Master at Apapa Port, Capt. Uduiguomen Eboreime, stated this in Lagos recently when the management of the Lagos ports paid a courtesy visit to the Flag Officer Commanding of the Western Naval Command of the Nigerian Navy. The Flag Officer Commanding, Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral Oladele Daji, had raised concerns about the presence of ship wrecks within the Lagos and Tin Can Island port channels, posing threats to cargo vessels which come in or leave the port on 24-hours basis. Daji lamented the hazards associated with submerged wrecks. He said the area that was mostly affected was the Tin Can Island, Kirikiri, Navy Town and bad portions of the Badagry Creek. The NPA Harbour Master said the agency was committed to ensuring that the channels for Lagos Pilotage District were constantly maintained to sustain the 24-hour pilotage services. He further gave examples of the third party towage and dredging services that were already established in the Lagos Pilotage District and assured that wreck removal was top on the list of NPA’s priorities for 2019 and it would be addressed based on budgetary provisions. He said, “These wrecks that you see disturbing on the waters are going to be removed, the channel is going to be dredged. “There was a time the Hydro of the Navy wrote to us, informing us of the wrecks and asking us to write notice to mariners. I just laughed because if I write a local notice to mariners, who is going to see it? People that are coming there are making use of local survey chats, and there is a portion that says that this chat is not used for navigation, so that if anything happens, nobody would be held for litigation.” Speaking on the attacks on vessels while at berth at the ports by pirates from snake island and Ogogoro Village creeks along the channel, the Harbour Master said pirates could not come onboard a vessel and steal 20 litres of paint without any connivance with some persons working onboard the ship.
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