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NPA, Police Partnership To Free Port Access Roads Commences


Years of efforts by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to clean up the Lagos ports access roads of its perennial gridlock occasioned largely by human factors and official encumbrances appear to be receiving succour through pragmatic actions by the leadership of the Nigerian Police.

This is coming on the heels of directive by the police authority to various police formation within the ports corridor to immediately dismantle, with a further directive to the port police to clean up the area of all forms of impediments to free flow of human and vehicular traffic.

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The police action is sequel to a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) reached with the management of NPA recently, designed to return sanity to traffic in the ports corridor, which has completely broken down close to a decade; through the feeding of various interests,  formal and informal, of assortments of rents and extortions.

Part of the strategic engagement and synergy was also to resolve the conflict of interests among the different police formations within the corridor, deemed to have defeated coordinated efforts in the past to arrest the shameful and maddening traffic management crisis.

Consequent upon the NPA and Police synergy, the Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG), Zone 2 Command, Bode Adeyinka Adeleke, and his Maritime Police Command counterpart, Ibrahim Kaoje, actions have since commenced to cleanse the port corridors of all acts of traffic pressure points and illegalities.

This follows the two police chiefs’ determination and directive for all illegal checkpoints on the port access roads to be immediately dismantled. The police action is also believed to have been enhanced through the implementation of action points in a separate MoU between NPA and the Lagos State Government (LASG) on trucks traffic control and enforcement in Apapa and its environs, signed on 8th March 2022.

While receiving AIGs Adeyinka and Kaoje in his office, the NPA Managing Director, Mohammed Bello-Koko, lamented the huge negative impact of the protracted traffic gridlock on the nation’s port economy; and enjoined the police chiefs to partner the authority to cleanse the Augean stable.

After the assessment conducted over the weekend, the two Police AIGs and the Lagos state police commissioner, Abiodun Talabi, reportedly issued a directive to dismantle all checkpoints with a marching order to the Area Commanders and Divisional Police Officers (DPO), to ensure the directive is fully implemented and sustained.

The order was reportedly with a proviso that the divisional officer and area commander will be held accountable for breaches, going forward.

For an effective and efficient management of the current remedial efforts, the Lagos State Government has set up a special mobile court to assure speedy trial of offenders and timely dispensation of justice, as it appertains the fast-track prosecution of persons accused of acts of extortion, unauthorized toll collections, illegal checkpoints, or any other unwholesome practice inhibiting the ease of doing business around the ports.

The MoU has also effectively resolved the issues of jurisdictional overlaps between the Ports Authority Police Command (PAPC) and the Lagos State Police Command; in previously curbing the acts of extortion partly perpetrated by uniformed men and other officials of government.

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