The Acting Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) Maritime, Commissioner of Police (CP) Anderson Bankole, has assured the organised and registered members of the Dredgers Association of Nigeria, of support and protection in the discharge of their legitimate activities and businesses.

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In a response to the requests of the executive members of the association during a familiarization visit to the marine force headquarters annex office in Obalende, Lagos, CP Bankole commended the association for doing their business within the ambit of the law.

He assured that the marine police will do all within its constitutional powers to their businesses and lives of their workers.

He said, “We will join you to profile the legitimate activities of registered operators and will work with you to rid the sector of illegal dredgers and another fly by night operators who are out to put others at risk”.

CP Bankole further explained, “I think we shall do more of intelligence gathering in this aspect and my years as an intelligence operative will be generously applied to bring about needed changes and also bring succour and climate of secured enabling environment to the benefits of the maritime sector.

He sought for sustainable support from all groups, noting that stakeholders in the sector will no longer be harassed and all security issues regardingĀ the waterways will henceforth be addressed by the Office AIG, Maritime.

In an appreciation, the President, Dredgers Association of Nigeria, Mr Batare Akpomejero, disclosed that registered operators contribute about 35 per cent to gainful economic activities in Nigeria, particularly in Lagos and wondered why they are hounded daily by all manners of persons and government officials.

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“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.”

Akpomejero who spoke through the secretary of the association, Mr Richard Ntan, noted that the incessant attacks are becoming unbearable and urged theĀ  Marine Police leadership to intervene.

“We shall be happy to work with you, to help profile the sector, interact through security workshops and seminars and assist the marine police with intelligence reports where necessary.

“We are happy and ready to work with you to stamp out the growing incidents of thefts and a sundry crime against our business without which the development and growth of economy and infrastructure advancement will be greatly affected.

Our Association is on top of this game and will continue to collaborate with the federal government and states authorities to ensure the Waterways and sand mining are carried out according to global standards, Mr Akpomejero further stated.