Responding to the request by the executive members of the association during a familiarisation visit to the marine force headquarters annex office in Obalende, Lagos, Bankole commended the association for doing their business within the arm bit of the law, assuring them that the marine police will do all within its constitutional powers to protect their businesses and life of their workers.
We will join you to profile the legitimate activities of registered operators and will work with you to rid the sector of illegal dredgers as well as other fly by night operators, who are out to put others at risk. I think we shall do more of intelligence gathering in this aspect in order to create enabling environment to the benefits of the maritime sector, he said.
Bankole however solicited for sustainable support from all groups, noting that stakeholders in the sector will no longer be harassed and all security issues regarding the waterways will henceforth be addressed.
Earlier, Batari Akpomejero, president of Dredgers Association, disclosed that registered operators contribute about 35 percent to gainful economic activities in Nigeria, particularly in Lagos, and wondered why they are hounded daily by all manners of persons including government officials.
We are very sad about the daily harassment to our businesses, attacks and bodily harm to our workers, theft and destruction visited on our equipment, he said.
Akpomejero who spoke through the secretary of the association, Richard Ntan, noted that incessant attacks are becoming unbearable, and urged the Marine Police leadership to intervene.
We are happy and ready to work with you to stamp out the growing incidents of thefts and sundry crime against our business without which the development and growth of economy and infrastructure advancement would be greatly affected.