‘Lack of safety on board, super freighter fueling drug trafficking in ports’ | The Guardian Nigeria News
MWUN reprimands NPA and NIMASA for insecurity in ports
The termination of the services of on-board security guards and the on-board check-in clerk as well as the absence of super cargo are described as being responsible for the movement of hard drugs and narcotics in Nigerian ports.
The Nigerian Maritime Workers Union (MWUN) made the disclosure following the continued incarceration of 12 dockers by the National Drug Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) of the 17 arrested aboard the MV Cha Yaree Naree and the MV Karteria, both at Greenview Development Nigeria Limited (GDNL), at the Lagos Port Complex (LPC) for the import of 32.9 kilograms of cocaine worth more than N9.5 billion in market value, since October 13, 2021.
It should be recalled that the services of a security clerk on board and in tally were terminated in 2015 by the management of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) in accordance with the instructions of the Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, even if the workers concerned were subsequently paid. in 2019.
MWUN General Chairman Comrade Adewale Adeyanju, who spoke to The Guardian, said security officers on board were essential in controlling insecurity and the facilitation of illegal trade in ports.
According to him, the security guards on board perform tasks which include, checking people and equipment to and from the ship; search of personnel and / or baggage; reporting incidents or security breaches and assisting in emergency control.
He lamented, however, that it was unfortunate that the on-board security guards and the tallyman, who are recognized by the International Labor Organization (ILO) law on maritime navigation, had been disengaged in Nigeria, fueling thus the importation of illegal hard drugs into the country.
“We haven’t experienced this kind of thing in the past, it’s a surprise to us that it’s becoming the order of the day where ships entering ports get caught with cocaine and other substances. narcotics If there were security guards on board ships, there would be no transport of hard drugs and narcotics to loading ports in Nigeria, âhe said.
Adeyanju also argued that criminal elements took advantage of the defunct Nigerian super freighter operations to carry out their crimes in the country’s seaports.
According to him, the super freighter identifies all cargoes destined for Nigeria, Togo and other countries, as well as operations on board ships.
He called for the reintroduction of the super freighter, however, and the reinstatement of security guards on board ships to help control the flow of hard drugs into the country, noting that the cartels have used Nigeria to trade hard drugs.
Speaking on the detained dockworkers, Adeyanju said the union will no longer accept the injustice inflicted on the dockworkers, as the importer, shipping companies and those involved in the crime are expected to be tracked down and arrested.
He said keeping innocent dockworkers incarcerated was against the law, while urging the NDLEA to conduct a proper investigation to find the culprit and release the illegally detained dockworkers.
He said, however, that the union would partner with NDLEA and other port stakeholders to raise awareness and sensitize dockers and other port users, noting that the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Security Agency (NIMASA ) should ensure the registration of credible dockworkers to avoid illegalities in the port system.