Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) says it is committed to concluding the 25-year Port Master Plan.
The Managing Director of NPA, Ms Hadiza Usman, said this at a two-day retreat organised by the House Committee on Ports, Harbour and Waterways, the Federal Ministry of Transportation and its agencies.
According to her, this (Port Master Plan) is expected to provide us with a clear overview of the entire port system, which is vital for guided port development.
“The Nigerian Ports Authority fully grasps the fact that our business is international and, therefore, requires that we constantly keep abreast with global developments and cutting edge technology in shipping developments. “Thus in building capacity of our work force, exposure to the international scene is vital” Usman said.
On passage of pending relevant bills (Ports and Harbours Bill, National Transport Commission Bill, etc), the managing director expressed delight that members of the House Committee agreed that there was an urgent need to pass the bills.
She said that the bills would replace the existing obsolete laws, which were not supportive of the current developmental goals.
“We are also excited about the efforts to reform and develop other related areas such as Inland waterways and ports, railway and road network, as these will enhance inter-modalism, which is very key to the success of the port sector, ’’
Usman said NPA was in the process of reviewing the various port concession agreements, some of which had expired.
“We are trying the best we can to improve our budget performance within the ambit of the Procurement Act.
“We are also engaged in various service improvement initiatives such as automation, which has reduced revenue leakages among others and provided us the platform to link to the National Single Window for trade facilitation by reducing impediments.
“This forum is coming at a most auspicious time, a time when the Federal Government is exploring ways of diversifying and improving the Nigerian economy. I must say that this is a very welcome innovation.
“This is the first time this kind of forum is being organised by the House Committee.
“I am particularly happy because it will foster exchange of ideas and collaboration and I hope it will become an annual event as the gains from it cannot be overemphasized,’’ she said.
In a message to the retreat, the Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Dakuku Peterside, said that transportation under maritime had witnessed tremendous growth over the years.
Peterside, who was represented by Director, Cabotage Services in NIMASA, Alhaji Gambo Ahmed, said that the law was the basis of every society.
He said that shipping accounted for over 80 per cent of movement of goods around the world.
Peterside said that it was NIMASA’s responsibility to ensure compliance with international maritime conventions in all shipping operations.
He said that all government agencies were committed to turn things around positively with the interest of the Federal Government in order to have seamless operation.