The NPA Assistant General Manager, Hydro and Dredging, Mr Olumide Omotoso, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
Omotosho said that NPA had sent details of the Lekki deep seaport to the UK Hydrographic Office for the information to be reflected on the world chart for sea-going vessels.
“The first thing is for the seaport to appear in a chart so that when navigators see the location and position, they can begin to ask questions about it,’’ he said.
He said that the UK hydrographic office was handling the charting of the seaport because it was the charting authority over the West Coast waters in Nigeria and West Africa.
“The process of charting the port area is going on in the UK hydrographic office because we have sent the necessary details to them to be put on the world chart.
“With the work in progress, the port is likely to take off operations in 2014,” Omotoso said.
He said that on completion of the seaport and commencement of its operations, vessels would be saved the problem of delays, while more economic activities would be attracted.
“The advantage of the deep seaport is that the Turn Around Time for vessels will be quicker; maintenance and dredging will be limited because the port is sitting right on a deep sea.
“This development can attract the biggest vessels in the world and it is going to bring in more economic activities, more revenue and more employment opportunities,’’ Omotoso said.
He said the NPA was considering introducing penalties for owners of vessels that constituted wrecks in the nation’s water channels and harbour.
Omotoso said this became necessary because some vessel owners did not care to remove their vessels from the ports when the vessels developed problems.
The general manager said that when such vessels became derelict, the NPA spent huge sum of money to salvage them.
“Since the NPA is spending so much money to salvage derelicts, it is better now that we are proactively looking at penalties that will keep such vessels at bay,’’ he said.
*Godwin Oritse with agency report