THE Port Standing Task Team, a body responsible for enforcement activities in Nigerian Ports is set to resume the onslaught against touts and extortionists operating at Lagos ports corridor.
The coordinator of the team, Moses Fadipe made this disclosure at a meeting with stakeholders on Wednesday in Lagos.
The development is coming a few weeks after The ICIR’s two-part investigation into how the uncontrolled extortion and touting at the Lagos ports corridor threaten the maritime industry.
Recall that The ICIR reported that the Nigerian Port Authority (NPA) pledged to investigate and address the problem.
Fadipe, while addressing the stakeholders, confirmed that some of the extortion points at the Lagos ports corridor, which had earlier been dismantled, have resumed operation.
He said that the team would resume its onslaught against the extortion points, some of which are manned by the Federal Operations Unit (FOU) of Nigeria Customs Service and Nigerian Police, as well as hoodlums from various Local Government Areas around the Port.
He assured the stakeholders that the matter would be addressed in less than 30 days, starting April 3.
“It was realised that stoppage of trucks along the port corridor constitutes the biggest encumbrance to the free flow of traffic, and this breeds extortion and corrupt practices,” he said.
“You have heard from stakeholders of touts everywhere, and you equally heard from them that this is a task for all and not for PSTT alone.”
Fadipe called on community leaders, the Lagos State government and security agencies to join hands with the team to address the challenge.
“Within the ambit of the mandate of PSTT, by the grace of God, by next week, we are moving out, and when we move out, you will see a tremendous change in the area of touting in the corridors mentioned.
“As we start from Monday, all the complaints raised in this meeting will be duly addressed in less than thirty days. You will see a drastic change within the next thirty days,” he assured.
Some of the stakeholders who spoke during the meeting decried the activities of touts, and non-state and state actors along the port corridor, urging the PSTT to look into it.
Nurudeen Akewushola is an investigative reporter and fact-checker with The ICIR. He believes courageous in-depth investigative reporting is the key to social justice, accountability and good governance in the society. You can shoot him a scoop via [email protected] and @NurudeenAkewus1 on Twitter.