By DAPO OLAWUNI
The United Apapa Youth Forum (UAYF) has said that 24hours port operations could only be achieved at Lagos port if the youths are carried along in terms of employment and other Corporate Social Responsibilities that could end criminalities around the port.
Recall that at a meeting of Heads of Maritime Agencies held in Apapa on Tuesday, Director General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Dr. Bashir Jamoh told journalists that a committee has been constituted to produce a work plan for the 24-hour port system.
The heads of maritime agencies agreed to carry communities around the port environments along in order to ensure safe operations within the port vicinities and beyond.
In a chat with DAILY TREND NEWS, Patron of the youth forum, His Royal Highness Victor Kolombus commended the initiative of the maritime heads, saying that Nigerian ports, especially Apapa port has been porous with all kind of criminalities which hindered 24hours operations.
He said in a community, the youths are very important when it comes to security and safety of the port area.
Kolombus tasked the maritime CEO’s to take a cue from Onne port where series of security challanges are being tackled by the youths of the port community and effort are being made to help the NPA Onne Port Manager who has given sense of belonging to the communities.
At the Apapa port, His Royal Highness lamented that the port area is very porous because the communities are not getting any support or employment from the various agencies and companies.
Last year, he said some NIMASA security officials where attacked, “the incident was reported to the UAYF leadership at a meeting we had in the NIMASA Head office in Burma Road Apapa, that same week, a lot of people where robbed, offices were bungled, already cleared containers with cargoes were broken into because of the traffic gridlock and port congestion”
He said that with the help of the United Apapa Youth Forum and its President, Comrade Abdulahi Suleiman, the criminals where later apprehended, while some are still facing trial.
Speaking, he said “The need to carry along the community is very important and it is the best decision taken by the heads of maritime agencies in the history of maritime. It would also lead to the end of criminalities in the port area.
“Also, there is the need to deal with the community directly in the empowerment of the youth because the matter of employment have been hijacked by interested people, while criminality continues to increase in the community.
“The jobs meant for the youths are given to one politician under the pretenses that they are doing well for the community”
“We also use this opportunity to appeal to the heads of maritime agencies to consider including the community youths in the security apparatus of the ports activities and the waterways” he said