Sam Ikeotuonye 13 December 2016, Sweetcrude, Lagos – Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, Ms Hadiza Bala Usman, has asked operators at the nation’s ports to invest in modern equipment for efficient service delivery.
Usman, who spoke of the need for the maritime industry to play its role as a major boost to Nigeria’s economy, maintained that, for this to happen, operators in the port industry must position themselves to deliver by investing in the requisite up-to-date equipment.
She made the disclosure while speaking in Lagos at a business networking conference put together by foremost maritime ports and terminals development promotion event, NIMPORT.
She said NPA under her watch was committed to making the Nigerian ports the leader in Africa, adding that the agency remained focused on ensuring the ports remained efficient and customer-friendly.
According to the NPA boss, the present management, on assumption of office, saw the need to review the various concession agreements covering the ports in line with global best practices and to improve efficiency.
“The review will challenge all parties to meet their various obligations with regard to provision of infrastructure including technologically up-to-date equipment aimed at improving efficiency of port operations,” she stated.
Usman also disclosed that in its stride to deliver on its mandate of availing an efficient port system, the Authority has recorded a number of milestones, including improved operational efficiency of the ports and increased cargo throughput, improved provision and maintenance of port terminal infrastructure and higher availability of cargo handling equipment and capacity.
Other milestones, according to her, include deepening of port channels and berth draughts that has enabled reception of larger vessels in Apapa, Tin Can Island and Onne ports; improved safety through wreck removal operations and installation of navigational systems; improved towage and pilotage services to ships through third party arrangements; and acquisition of more marine crafts such as tugs and pilot cutters.
She also listed other achievements to include automation of port services through implementation of the oracle e-business suite, electronic document management system; revenue invoicing management system, RIMS, e-payment system; electronic ship entry notice; and establishment of command and control, communication and intelligence centre for domain visibility.