The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) it has placed premium in securing the nation’s waterways in order to generate the much needed revenue for Nigeria.
Managing Director of NPA, Ms Hadiza Bala Usman, said this when she hosted the Flag Officer Commanding Western Naval Command of the Nigerian Navy, Rear Admiral Ferguson Dukas Bobai.
She reaffirmed the commitment of the present management of NPA to improve on the existing synergy with the Nigerian Navy and other relevant stakeholders in the maritime industry, particularly in the security of the waterways.
Ms Usman noted that securing the nations’ waterways would impact positively on revenue generation for the country through effective monitoring of vessels vis-à-vis improved operational efficiency.
She pointed out that the NPA would ensure that the enhanced relationship with the Navy was sustained through information sharing.
On the berthing space for the Navy ships anchored at jetties and the on-going repairs therein, Ms Usman informed the Naval team that her management would work towards granting the Navy a temporary berthing space pending the rehabilitation of its facilities.
She charged the naval authorities to immediately reconvene the committee set up to facilitate the dredging at the Takwa Bay turning base and proceed with the implementation of the earlier recommendations and positions as agreed.
The NPA boss promised that management would make available financial support to the project via budgetary provision and allocation in the next fiscal year.
She called for maximum use of the Command, Control, Communication and Intelligence (CCCI) of both organisations through the swift deployment of its personnel aimed at collaborating on information sharing towards operational security efficiency.
Earlier, Rear Admiral Bobai had informed Usman and her team of the need for a sustained synergy equally between the Navy and the NPA, most especially in view of the sensitive role both bodies played in the life of the nation alongside other government agencies concerning security.
The Naval Chief solicited for a space at the Takwa Bay for the swift response to security challenges from naval personnel whilst on patrol of the Nigerian waterways.
He affirmed that the position of the Nigerian Ports Authority in the life of the nation’s economy was essential and strategic through the swift and safe facilitation of import and export business on the waterways.
“Hence all hands must be on deck at ensuring that the nation’s harbours are protected at all cost by the relevant agencies through the collaboration with the Navy in order to facilitate maximum revenue generation for the nation through shipping activities”, he stated.
According to a statement signed by General Manager, Public Affairs, Chief Michael Ajayi, the Flag Officer Commanding Western Naval Command was of the opinion that the Navy was willing to improve on the partnership between relevant agencies in the area of information sharing and collaboration.
This, he said would be through the monitoring of ships on the nation’s waterways before being allowed to anchor on the Nigerian waters.
“This would enhance maximum safety and security of lives as well as cargo on Nigerian waters”, he pointed out.
Rear Admiral Bobai further observed that the turning base on the Nigerian waterways was narrow and sharp for RoRo vessels coming into the country.
He urged the NPA management to see to the quick dredging of the environment in view of the danger it portended.