Lagos ports is ‘world’s stowaway hotspot’

Nigerian major ports, Lagos Port Complex and Tin Can Island Port Complex in Apapa, have been identified as hotpots for stowaways.

It was gathered that African ports dominated the stowaways, with Lagos ports being the most notorious.

Study by a London-based marine insurer, West of England P&I, explained that  the stowaways were boarding roll-on-roll off  ferries to escape to United Kingdom through Northern European ports.

It said: “In recent years, the West of England P&I has experienced several incidents whereby large number of stowaways have boarded a vessel in Lagos in a single incident. Durban in South Africa and Douala in Cameroon have also been problematic.”

It added that up to 60 cases involving 220 stowaways, costing over $1.6 million to rectify, have been reported.

The marine insurer also stated that stowaways from European ports have increased noticeably in recent years.

The West of England P&I club therefore “strongly recommend that vessels visiting, in particular, African ports and Northern European Ports when destined for the United Kingdom, ensure robust anti-stowaway measures are in place at all times.”

Already, Nigerian authorities have been battling with several cases of stowaways at the ports in Lagos.

Just last week, two stowaways were arraigned before an Apapa Magistrates’ Court sitting in Lagos.

The two accused will know their fate September 11, 2017 after they pleaded guilty to a three-count charge brought against them by the police.

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