Recent burning and looting of property belonging to the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) headquarters have left the management and staff still smarting from the losses, which are expected to be recompense by insurance companies.
The havoc wreaked by hoodlums, who took advantage of the recent #EndSARS protests to steal, vandalise and burn down the six-floor building, has also forced many NPA employees to work from home.
Already, insurance companies have swung into action, as loss adjusters, who, working with the relevant units, are ascertaining the extent of damage caused by the fire, which raised the entire building.
Although the Authority confirmed to The Guardian that port operations are going on smoothly, a number of its workers are also stranded, and their fate unknown as they are to stay at home until further notice.
The General Manager, Corporate Communications, Jatto Adams, confirmed to The Guardian yesterday that “The ports are working. The port operations are not affected in any way. What we are doing now is to take stock and ascertain the level of damage. The insurance companies are also part of those on ground taking the stock.
“We have asked those at the headquarters to remain at home, while those who are needed to be at the scene of the incident for stock-taking are already on ground.
“We have not been able to issue a statement on the extent of the damages, because we want to take stock and be comprehensive with our facts,” he said.
On the estimated cost of damage, Adams said: “I can’t give the cost of damages now. We are still taking stock.”
Meanwhile, the Maritime Workers’ Union of Nigeria (MWUN), has condemned the attack and vandalism of the NPA headquarters.
President of MWUN, Adewale Adeyanju, said: “The wreckage of the NPA building and the looting of its property is protest carried too far, and it is only vandals whose brains are no longer in the right position that can carry out such.
“Whilst we condemn in its entirety the barbaric destruction of the NPA building by some misguided youths, we pray that the perpetrators are apprehended and made to face the wrath of the law.
“Whilst peaceful protest is universally-acknowledged as a legitimate instrument usually engaged to draw the attention of government to its inadequacies or misgovernance, but when this protest turns awry and weapons are wantonly used, property looted and damaged, and innocent souls wasted, it becomes regrettable and counterproductive.
“We seize this opportunity to express our unalloyed support/solidarity with the management of NPA at this difficult time and always,” he stated.