Nigerian Ports Authority, Navy to ensure safety of waterways

The Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA),Ms  Hadiza Usman has said that the management will improve on the existing security arrangements with the Nigerian Navy and other stakeholders in the maritime subsector.

According to a statement by the General Manager, Public Affairs, Chief Michael Ajayi in Lagos, the managing director said that securing the nation’s waterways will impact positively on revenue generation.

Usman received the Flag Officer Commanding (FOC), Western Naval Command of the Nigerian Navy, Rear Admiral Ferguson Bobai, and other senior officers on a working visit to the NPA Corporate Headquarters, Marina, Lagos.

She called for effective monitoring of vessels vis-a-vis improved operational efficiency.

According to her, the NPA would ensure that the enhanced relationship with the Navy is sustained through information sharing.

Usman spoke on the berthing space for Naval ships anchored in the jetties and the on-going repairs therein.

She informed the Naval team that the management of NPA would work toward granting the Navy a temporary berthing space, pending the rehabilitation of its facilities.

Usman urged the Naval Authorities to immediately reconvene the committee set up to facilitate the Dredging at the Tarkwa Bay Turning Base and proceed with the implementation of the earlier recommendations and positions as agreed.

She promised that the NPA management would financially support the project via budgetary provision and allocation in the next fiscal year.

The Managing Director called for maximum use of the Command, Control, Communication and Intelligence (CCCI) of both organisations through the swift deployment of its personnel aimed at collaborating on information sharing toward operational security efficiency.

Bobai had earlier informed the managing director about the need for a sustained synergy between the Navy and the NPA; most especially in view of the sensitive roles both organisations played alongside other government agencies concerning security.

The Naval Chief solicited for a space at the Tarkwa Bay for the swift response to security challenges from Naval personnel whilst on patrol of the Nigerian Waterways.

He said that the position of the Nigerian Ports Authority in the life of the nation’s economy was essential and strategic through the swift and safe facilitation of import and export businesses on the nation’s waterways.

“Hence all hands must be on deck at ensuring that the nation’s harbours are protected at all cost by the relevant agencies through collaboration with the Navy.

“This is in order to facilitate maximum revenue generation for the nation through shipping activities,’’ Bobai said.

The FOC said that the Navy was willing to improve on the partnership between relevant agencies such as the NPA and NIMASA in the area of information sharing and collaboration.

He said that this would be through monitoring of ships on the nation’s waterways before being allowed to anchor in Nigerian Waters.

‘’This would enhance maximum safety and security of lives as well as cargoes in Nigerian waters,’’ Bobai said.

He observed that the Turning base on the Nigerian waterways was narrow and sharp for Roll On/Roll Off (RORO) Vessels coming into the country.

The FOC urged the NPA management to see to the quick dredging of the environment in view of the danger it portends.