The Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority ( NPA), Ms. Hadiza Bala Usman has urged the National Assembly to pass the Ports and Harbours Bill, National Transport Commission Bill and other maritime bills to boost the port development plan.
Speaking at a retreat organised by the House Committee on Ports, Harbours and Waterways in Lagos, Ms Usman said that there was an urgent need to pass the bills to replace the obsolete laws which were not supportive of developmental goals of the Country.
The NPA boss said she was committed to capacity building of its workforce because its business was international and required that the agency should constantly keep abreast with global developments and cutting edge in technology and shipping developments,
She stated that NPA was excited about the efforts by the Nigerian Government to reform and develop other related areas such as Inland waterways and ports, rail way and road network to promote inter-modalism which according to her was very key to the success of the port.
“This forum is coming at a most auspicious time, a time when the President Mohammadu Buhari led Government is 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 organized 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 overemphasised”.
“I am also grateful that the ports have been identified as key areas of the economy with the potential to put the nation back on the track of economic boom. One of the key objectives of the retreat is to expose the Honourable Members of the House Committee and stakeholders to the dynamics of the maritime industry, which are quite vast.
“It is very gratifying that we can count on the support of this Honourable Committee in our efforts to reposition the ports to play the desired role in the current economic agenda of the Nigerian Government,” she said.
From the objectives of the retreat, Ms Usman said NPA drew the following conclusions: “That our industry is one of the key areas of focus for economic development; that the National Assembly is committed to cooperating with the Executive to realize the development goals and objectives set for the sector; that the House Committee is concerned about bringing our sector up to speed with international standards and that the House Committee is desirous of creating suitable synergy between the National Assembly and the Federal Ministry of Transport”.