The Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala Usman, on Sunday, revealed that over 300 hoodlums, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020, attacked, vandalised and burnt sections of the agency’s headquarters situated at 26/28, Marina road,Lagos.
Addressing newsmen after an on-the-spot assessment of the damage done by the hoodlums, the NPA MD stated that 27 vehicles parked within the premises of the building were completely razed, while another 33 were vandalised.
She explained that the value of the damage could not be ascertained at the moment, because insurance companies are still conducting vetting processes on the damages.
According to Usman: “The management of the NPA regrets the attack on its 26/28 Marina Road, Lagos, corporate headquarters and the Tin-Can Island Port by unknown persons on Wednesday, October 21 and Tuesday, October 20, 2020, respectively.
“The attack on the Tin-Can Island Port commenced at 9:45 am on Tuesday, October 20, 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 8:42 am on Wednesday, October 21, 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.”
She added: “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 annexe wing that was burnt, many offices were vandalised, while computers, printers, water dispensers and other electronic devices were looted.
“A total of 27 vehicles, including cars, utility vehicles, pick up vans and staff buses were set on fire, while 33 other vehicles, 22 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.
“All stakeholders and the general public are hereby assured that the situation has not affected operations of the Authority in any way as we have continued to render our services unhindered.”