Calabar Port harbors hits ISO 9001 Certification
Eme Offiong, Calabar
The Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, Mr. Mohammed Bello Koko has commended the management and staff of the Calabar Port for achieving ISO 9001 Certification.
Calabar Port harbours, which predates the slave trade era, was managed and privately administered by different shipping lines before being officially taken over by the Nigerian Government in December 1969, which had since been battling to achieve the overdue ISO 9001 Certification.
Mr. Koko, who led top executives of the NPA to Calabar Ports in Cross River State, southern Nigeria on a familiarization visit, attributed the achievement recorded to the collaborative efforts of the staff and management.
He said, “let me congratulate all of you that really worked with us to get the ISO certification. It is very important and shows that you all worked together with Port Manager. I know how difficult the process was, but finally Calabar Port Harbours is certified.”
Explaining further, the NPA Boss said, “ISO 9001 is an international certification, which shows that a port is operating based on international best practices and standards. It means we have the right working tools, the right equipment, the right staff training, the right skills and much more; and that was what we did. We are happy that Calabar Port is one of the two, the other is Onne in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. Those, who know what ISO certification is, know how rigorous a process it is. But, we are happy that that has been achieved,” Koko remarked.
During an interaction with newsmen, the Managing Director disclosed that the port authority was making serious plans to increase traffic to the port as well as strategize on dredging the Calabar Channel to accommodate large vessels.
According to him, “the contract for the dredging of the Calabar channel was awarded many years ago. There is litigation between the Nigerian Ports Authority and the contractor that was awarded the contract and this has inhibited our ability to dredge the channel.
“But, the Nigerian Ports Authority is working with the Ministries of Transport and Justice to resume discussions. That has to be done to enable us continue the dredging of the channel,” he assured.
“We believe that there are still businesses that can be brought to Calabar rather than Lagos. Calabar is strategically located to the north-east and some of the north central states. You can see that a vessel came in with a lot of trucks and equipment. It did not just come from nowhere; it came because of the efforts being made by the port management and the executive management of Nigerian Ports Authority. So, we will continue those efforts to see that we ensure that this port in the eastern part of the country become more active,” the NPA boss reiterated.
Earlier, the Calabar Port Manager, Mr. Festus Olumati disclosed that the port between January and May 2022 had recorded higher earnings worth more than Six million US Dollars.
Olumati disclosed, “ship traffic into Calabar Port recorded high returns. Vessels received were 72, GRT 1,611,441; Cargo Throughput 990,154; Container TEUS 16; a turnaround time of 4 days and Berth Occupancy of 15 percent.
“Our growth earnings increased as revenue generated was $6,598,085.42 Million; actual revenue collected was $5,786,634.51 Million. The Naira value of revenue generated was N645, 747,194.06; revenue collected N309, 286,187.12 including other achievements,” the Port Manager said.
He reminded the executive management of the port authority that challenges such as channel dredging, collapse of berth at Shoreline jetty, siltation and reduced draught at ECM Terminal as well as encroachment on NPA land and vandalization of power supply facilities needed immediate attention.
The climax of the visit was the inauguration of a newly built office complex and pilot post as well as an upgraded staff cafeteria.