Speaking on the new direction and measures being put in place to actualize the Authority’s aspirations, Bello- Koko explained that a lot has been done, especially in the last few months, to resolve most of the identified constraints to the efficient movement of cargoes to and from port locations.
“Nigeria accounts for about 70 percent of cargoes imported into West and Central Africa and the country controls an impressive stretch of the Atlantic Ocean.
“The move towards earning the status of the
hub in the region is in line with our new vision statement which was adopted at the recent NPA Management retreat, “To Be The Maritime Logistics Hub For Sustainable Port System In Africa”, he said.
While describing the board retreat as very timely, he stated that it signposts a unity of purpose and shared vision, where the executive management working closely with every section, unit, department, division and directorate, embrace an all-inclusive strategic outcomes for the Authority with the requisite buy-in of the Board.
“In appreciation of this, I will like to crave the understanding of the Board with regards to executive management’s limitations in actualizing some of our goals and objectives, which I am sure distinguished board members must have noticed in the course of the tour of ports that preceded this retreat” he added.
The acting NPA Boss informed the Board that recent interventions made by the Authority has led to significant improvement in terms of ship and cargo dwell time at the port.
He further informed the board that concerted efforts are being made to expand the revenue streams of the Authority, in addition to revenue from traditional port operations.
He explained that the Authority is blessed with prime real estate which could serve as alternative funding sources outside the regular budget.
“Management will need the support of the Board to drive the process of alternative revenue sources to actualize the lofty aspirations of the Authority” he posited.
He further said that the management has opened correspondences with some multilateral financial institutions like the French Development Agency (AFD), African Development Bank (AfDB), European Investment Bank (EIB) and Sanlam Infraworks (a Central Bank of Nigeria approved fund manager for InfraCorp), all part of plans to access long term low interest credit, for port infrastructure upgrades and expansion.
Bello-Koko also touched on efforts by the management to make Nigerian seaports more business friendly.
“The Authority has accredited 33 private truck terminals within the Lagos area, in addition to the Lilypond Truck Transit Park and Tin Can Island Port Truck Transit Park, to ensure trucks do not park indiscriminately on the access roads and would only be allowed to transit to the port after obtaining electronic tickets via the “eto” call-up platform”
He discosed that the authority was collaborating with the Lagos State Government to ensure enforcement and compliance with the e-call up system.
According to him, other solutions being implemented is the push to link all seaports to the national rail network as well to optimize the use of the inland waterways through the transfer of cargo or containers via barges.
Currently, the Authority is streamlining barge operations to ensure efficiency, safety and cost effective cargo delivery for increased port revenue.
The acting Managing Director in his remarks equally acknowledged recent steps taken by the Ministry of Transportation and the Authority towards the timely execution of the new green-field deep seaport to be domiciled in Bonny, Rivers State.
The Bonny seaport project, boosted by two major railway projects, would massively transform the economic landscape of the country, particularly the South South and South Eastern regions.
Meanwhile, on the South Western axis is the Lekki Deep Seaport which should be operational next year.
The two port projects will usher a new vista of economic prosperity and further consolidate the country’s status as gateway to the African economy, he noted.
Earlier in his welcome address, Chairman of the Board, Mr.Emmanuel Adesoye, described the retreat as an opportunity for the Board and Management “not just to rethink our strategies, structures and systems for effective service delivery, but also to unwind, reconnect and strengthen our bonds as team players committed to upholding excellence”, he remarked.
The Chairman called for clear and deliberate efforts by the NPA towards efficient operations, competitive and diversified export driven economy; a strong and incentive based system aligned with win-win relationships to enhance profitability and productivity for the concessionaires, NPA, and the Nigerian State; increase in alternative revenue streams; and effective collaboration based on transparency and constant communication with all relevant stakeholders across the port value chain.
The three day event, attended by all board members, attracted seasoned experts in port administration, strategic and creative thinking, stress management, among other relevant subjects.
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NIMASA set to open Lokoja office to harness waterways resources
The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh, has disclosed that the Agency is set to reopen the Lokoja office, as part of efforts towards harnessing the Blue Economy, enhancing collaboration, while also promoting Research and Development.
The DG, who made this known when he played host to the Executive Secretary of the Kaduna State Emergency Management Agency (KADSEMA), Mal. Usman Hayatu Mazadu at the head office of the Agency in Lagos, noted that investment in research would play a major role in ensuring the harnessing of Nigeria’s maritime potentials.
“The key cardinal principle of opening the NIMASA Lokoja office is to improve on Research and Development.
He said, “Now, the Blue Economy has come to stay and very soon you will see the impact of what we have; in terms of the gains and benefits to grow our Gross Domestic Product while improving the well-being of our own Economy”.
Earlier in his remarks, Mallam Usman of KADSEMA lauded the Agency for the feat achieved so far, which cuts across the entire Nigeria.
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