The Nigeria Port Authority (NPA) has said it’s partnering with the Port of Miami, USA, on ways to improve efficiency and ease of doing business in Nigerian ports.
The Managing Director of NPA, Ms Hadisa Bala-Usman, said at a stakeholders meeting in Lagos that the partnership was geared towards mutual benefits for the two countries.
She stated this as the NPA management brainstormed with representatives of Miami-Dade County, Florida, US, on bilateral trade relations at the meeting.
Bala-Usman, represented by Prof. Abubakar Idris, Director, Engineering and Technical Services, said NPA, in 2001, signed a trade agreement with the Miami Port.
“The US mission is an excellent initiative aimed at trade balance between Nigeria and the US’‘.
“We are looking forward to technical exchange that will boost the economy of Nigeria in the area of attracting traffic to the ports.”
“The initiative, when it comes on stream as being fashioned, will among other things attract infrastructural development at the ports,” Bala-Usman said.
Sen. Ovie Omo-Agege, representing the National Assembly, said the provision of statutory framework for the partnership to flourish is a priority.
“The passage of Maritime Port and Harbour Bill was aimed at providing comfort to investors; this was fashioned to hasten the ease of doing business in the ports.
“The bill entails global best practice, which is an open invitation for the world to invest in Nigeria ports.
“The law will promote trade; it is a watershed in our maritime sector to encourage investments in the non-oil sector, which is a cardinal objective of the Buhari administration,” Omo-Agege said.
According to him, investments in the non-oil sector have the potential to lift the Nigerian economy from its present state to advanced economic stature.
He said Nigeria’s maritime sector is a vast un-harnessed area which has a lot to offer in the area of fishery produce export.
The Minister of Transport, Mr Chibuike Amaechi, who was represented by Mr Sanni Umar, Director, Maritime Services, said the collaboration between the two countries would boost the economy, especially produce export.
According to him, the Nigeria species of fishes is in high demand in the Western world, therefore the partnership is a welcome initiative that the country has been longing for.
The leader of the US delegation, Mrs Audrey Edmonson, expressed hope of better relationship with Nigerian ports.
She said all avenues of making the partnership work would be explored, to assist Nigerian ports bolster the nation’s economy with improved cargo handling infrastructure.