The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has inaugurated an Emergency Response Team (ERT) to check criminal activities and other emergency situations at Calabar Port.
Speaking during the ceremony, the Managing Director of NPA, Mrs Hadiza Usman, said International Maritime Organization (IMO) required ports to ensure safety, protection of the marine environment, security and expeditious movement of ships and cargoes in and out of the ports.
Usman, who was represented by Capt. Iheanacho Ebubeogu, General Manager, Ports Security Unit, said the team was necessary because the port and its environs were surrounded by tank farms and other security threats such as sea robbery.
Besides, Usman said that team was in tandem with best practices because 80 per cent of the vessels that berth at the port were wet cargoes.
“As a result, this requires extra safety and security measures from all the stakeholders to ensure the protection of lives and property,” Usman said.
She commended the Calabar Port Manager, Mrs Marie Assein, for initiating the project.
Speaking, Asein called for synergy with all sister agencies in the maritime sector to achieve efficient security at the port.
Mr Emmanuel Ajibola, Chairman of NPA Board, commended the initiative, saying it would go a long way in curbing criminal activities within the port’s operational areas.
Ajibola said that NPA was working to increase shipping activities at the Calabar Port, adding that the management would soon rid the port of all illegal settlements to complement the effort of the team.
He described Calabar Port as very strategic to the economy of the country, Cross River and the neighbouring states.