By Foster Obi
Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has assured all stakeholders and the general public that the recent arson attack on its headquarters and Tincan Port branch in Lagos has not affected its operations in any way as the company has continues to render services unhindered.
A statement signed by Jatto A Adams, General Manager, Corporate and Strategic Communications, titled, “Re: Attack on the NPA Headquarters,” gave a blow by blow account of the incident and the counter reaction.
According to the statement, “The management of the Nigerian Ports Authority regrets the attack on its 26/28 Marina Road, Lagos, corporate headquarters and the Tincan Island Port by unknown persons on Wednesday October 21st and Tuesday October 20th, 2020 respectively.
“The attack on the Tincan Island Port commenced at 9:45am on Tuesday October 20th 2020. The hoodlums made an attempt to forcefully gain access into the port, attacked the administrative building and set ablaze a truck which was evacuating cargo. 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 8:42am 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.
“Upon knowledge of the attack, officers of the Nigerian Armed Forces were invited and deployed to the premises. 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 Twenty-seven (27) vehicles, including cars, utility vehicles, pick up vans and staff buses were set on fire, while Thirty-three (33) other vehicles, twenty-two 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.
“All assets of the Authority are comprehensively insured, and insurers are currently undergoing an assessment of the damages.
“The Management of the Authority is particularly grateful that no life was lost in this sad incident. This is 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.
“The Authority recognises the gallantry of men of the Nigerian Armed Forces and our firemen whose intervention restored normalcy. We also appreciate the concerns of all stakeholders and citizens who have reached out with kind words of support and encouragement. “
Pix: NPA headquarters burning