The Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority(NPA), Hadiza Bala-Usman has said that the authority is yet to determine the total value of the assets lost to the recent attack on the agency’s Marina headquarters in Lagos.
She, however, said “After an assessment of the extent of damage, it was discovered that apart from the annex wing that was burnt, many offices were vandalised, while computers, printers, water dispensers and other electronic devices were looted.
“A total of Twenty-seven (27) vehicles, including cars, utility vehicles, pick up vans and staff buses were set on fire, while Thirty-three (33) other vehicles, twenty-two 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”. Bala-Usman said.
Speaking for the first time since the incident while conducting journalists round the affected parts of the building on Sunday, November 1st, Bala-Usman confirmed that all the affected assets were comprehensively insured.
“All assets of the Authority are comprehensively insured, and insurers are currently undergoing an assessment of the damages” and are expected to meet their obligations on completion of the exercise.
She assured that no NPA record was lost as the incident would not impair the operations of the authority in any form and dismissed any idea of relocating the office as a result of the inferno.
In her account of how the headquarter’s incident happened, she revealed that the“Attackers numbering over 300 persons, gained access into the premises at 8:42am on Wednesday October 21st2020 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.
“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”. The managing director said.
The obviously displeased Bala-Usman regretted that the attack on the corporate headquarters of NPA took place a day after mayhem had been unleashed on Tin can Island Port by unknown persons.
”The attack on the Tincan Island Port commenced at 9:45am on Tuesday October 20th 2020. The hoodlums made an attempt to forcefully gain access into the port, attacked the administrative building and set ablaze atruck 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”. She added.
According her, 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, she noted “recognised 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.
Appreciating stakeholders and the general public on their support at this time, she assured that the situation has not affected operations of the authority in anyway as they have continued to render services unhindered