The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) announced that it will partner with the UK Border Force on port Security.

This was disclosed in a statement by NPA’s acting Managing Director, Mohammed Bello-Koko, in Lagos on Friday.

Bello-Koko stated that the partnership will facilitate the legitimate movement of persons and goods at all seaports in the country, adding that the partnership covers security measures, coordination, information sharing and joint operations to check persons or activities that might cause harm to operations and investments and also secure shipping lines and traffic.

“The partnership with the UK Border Force is a strategic relationship with long term economic benefits to Nigeria and to Britain,” he said.

“The Border Force is a law enforcement agency charged by the UK government to manage immigration and customs checks at all British seaports and airports.

“The collaboration with the NPA entails the establishment of an Electronic Cargo Targeting System, a Joint Port Control Unit and a Mobile Task Force

“It comes with the capacity to enhance the work of Nigerian law enforcement agencies operating within the nation’s maritime domain by providing real-time data and business arterial intelligence tools.

“Furthermore, the partnership will foster critical and sustainable capacity building and manpower development.

“It will prioritise the acquisition, deployment and utilisation of resources sensitive to threats and issues related to maritime security,’’ he stated.

The UK Border Force Regional Operations Manager, West Africa, Kris Hawksfield, said he is optimistic that the partnership would enhance Nigeria’s border management capabilities, citing that the partnership includes “strengthening the capacity of border law enforcement agencies to protect revenue; to disrupt criminal activities like money laundering, drugs, human trafficking and terrorism.”

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Nairametrics reported that the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) commenced a new licensing regime for the operation of barges across the nation’s seaports with the establishment of a regulatory framework.

The NPA said that the guidelines which are under a new Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), must be complied with by all operators with effect from September 1, 2021.