Freight forwarders seek retention of Secure Anchorage Area – Punch Newspapers

Anna Okon

 The National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders has urged the Federal Government to sustain the existence of the Secure Anchorage Area to protect the nations waterways and prevent armed robbery and piracy attacks on vessels visiting Nigeria.

Making this call in Lagos on Friday, the President of NAGAFF, Mr Increase Uche, said before the establishment of the SAA five years ago, attacks on vessels calling at Nigerian ports were very rampant.

He said for that reason, shipping companies hired mercenaries at the cost of $2,500 per mercenary to protect their vessels.

Uche said abolishing the security of the anchorage area would lead to a resurgence of maritime crime in the area and consequently increased cost for shipping lines, adding that the cost would eventually be transferred to port users in the form of shipping companies charges.

He said this may also result in the diversion of cargoes to ports of neighbouring countries.

Uche said, We have seen what the industry had passed through and we do not want to go back to the old order. We do not want our cargoes to be exposed to criminals. So we are appealing to the Nigerian Ports Authority to rescind the decision to dismantle the SAA.

Recall that the NPA had recently notified the Navy of its decision to dismantle the SAA which was operated by a private company, OMSL on behalf of the Navy.

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