Unauthorized Government Agencies, Host Communities Harassing, Extorting Us, BUA Laments
Port terminal operator, BUA Ports and Terminal Limited has bemoaned what it described as inappropriate demands and illegitimate harassment from communities and unauthorized government agencies in Rivers State.
General Manager of BUA Ports and Terminal Limited, Mr. Mohammed Ibrahim, speaking during a visit by members of Energy and Maritime Reporters Corps in Port Harcourt, said people should appreciate what businesses such as BUA has come to do in the state, rather than cooking up demands and creating unnecessary tensions.
Ibrahim regretted that illegitimate harassment of businesses was more common in the Niger Delta region than elsewhere in the country, citing a case where some community chiefs confronted the company to complain about ships destroying their community’s fishing nets.
He called for a reorientation of the attitude of the people towards businesses operating in the state, while also commending the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, for often cautioning communities against disrupting the activities of companies operating in the state.
“Since we have come to sit here permanently, we have also built up a team that’s able to manage all these challenges either from communities or from government agencies coming to ask for one thing or the other, or from even people who pretend to be from government.
“There are basic things to understand. Water channels are common user channels and government has right of way over such channels. You don’t set fishing nets along common user channels where vessels on international voyages will pass.
“They (communities) should see businesses as partners in progress, offering great opportunities to their people and developing their place.
“Lagos is doing well in terms of business because we don’t have these types of challenges there like we have here. But with proper orientation, people will know that these companies that are coming are bringing positive economic development to the state.”
Earlier, the Chairman of EMR, Mr. Martins Giadom, who led the delegation, sought collaboration with the management of BUA as a key player in the maritime industry.
Giadom who commended the management of BUA over its doggedness in finding solutions to the embattled berth eight at Rivers Port, hitherto damaged by wharf rats; described BUA as one of the best terminal operators in Nigeria to have successfully combined port operations with manufacturing.
“Let me state that the size and strength of the Energy Maritime Reporters Corps of Nigeria EMR, cuts across the entire media industry because we are practicing journalists who are first and foremost members of the Nigeria Union Of Journalists
“We work as professional beat reporters and concentrate on energy and earitime sectors of the economy. This is why we consider EMR as a huge information and communication asset to key stakeholders like BUA, multinational companies, key agencies, the communities and private stakeholders in the sector.
EMR is your best partner in your strategies for ensuring security and the ‘Ease Of Doing Business’ in the sector in this region.
It is thus, based on the above that we seek collaboration with your office