NPA PULLS DOWN SHANTIES, STRUCTURES ADJACENT PORTS FACILITIES.
BY Mcanthony ONUOHA
Nigeria Ports Authority in collaboration with the Lagos State Government, recently, embarked on a demolition exercise.
The joint task force moved in with high powered bulldozers, demolishing makeshift buildings, office structures and workshops raised near port’s facilities on TinCan Island.
The exercise which commenced from TinCan 2nd gate, saw every structure on the other side of the road(Across) brought down and set ablaze as their owners were seen running from pillar to post in utter confusion.
THE RUBBLES OF THE DEMOLISHED FEELING STATION OPPOSITE TINCAN ISLAND PORT(FIRST GATE)
Theprestige Blended Magazine learned that notice of the exercise had been given few days back prior to the demolition.
Meanwhile, a freight forwarder who claimed anonymity, who also lost an office space worth over Three million Naira, decried the activities of hoodlums in the area. He disclosed that miscreants took over the area after Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), banned stripping of boxes within ports environment, and since clearing agents saw the waterside (Across), as an alternative, they started trucking their containers down there for stripping, which attracted miscreants who hijacked the entire process, taxing trucks owners and freight forwarders according to the sizes of the containers; and the money must be paid before they allowed them offload their goods.
He added that the huge amount of money they realized from the business on daily basis, attracted rival groups which blew up the peace enjoyed in the area. The Prestige Blended Magazine was informed that penultimate Saturday, there was a serious gun duel involving the rival groups which attracted the attention of security personnel. It was also confirmed that firearms and other lethal weapons were discovered by the police. Our correspondent learned that the recent clash among the rival groups was not the very first one since stripping business began in that area months ago.
When approached, one of the personnel carrying out the operation, confided in this reporter, saying that the area had become a danger zone as it served as serious hideout for hoodlums, drug peddlers and cultists that terrorizie ports users. He added that the demolition exercise was to sanitize the area so as to make the port environment safe for business.
Meanwhile, there was a serious protest by the family of a former Nigerian Minister of Sports, Late Air Commodore, Anthony Ikhazoboh, against the illegal demolition of a structure belonging to the Late Former Honourable Minister of Sports, who died 27th of July, 1999.
The very old structure which served as feeling station ( situated right opposite TinCan Island Port, First Gate, which was later leased to OANDO PLC., according to the personnel that carried out the exercise, was erroneously pulled down as they never sought the concent of the management before carrying out that particular demolition.
Meanwhile, the wife of the former Minister, expressed shock as she visited the site with some Journalists. She claimed that the property was legally acquired and registered with certificate of occupancy duly issued. In what seemed as a turn of event, a management staff of NPA was seen very furious as he questioned the action of the bulldozer operator, asking him who instructed him to pull down the structure.
Recall that the waterside had served as a hospitality spot to almost every port user as that was the only place within TinCan Island port where people could go to unwind after a hectic day before going back to their various homes at close of business.