The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has said that it will work in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Transportation to fashion out strategies to ensure the speedy passage into law of the Ports and Harbour Bill by the National Assembly.
The Chairman of the NPA Board, Mr. Emmanuel Adesoye, who made this pledge in his speech delivered at the swearing-in of the Governing Board, said he hoped that the bill when passed into law would provide appropriate framework for rapid port expansion and development including capacity building.
He stated that the Board in the coming days or weeks will be addressing along with the local management, the perennial Apapa gridlock, poor access roads- leading to the ports and absences or non-functional truck holding bay – all of which had made port business a tasking venture.
According to him, in the performance of the board’s oversight functions, it shall resolutely commit itself to the pursuit of excellence in service predicated on zero tolerance to corruption and its associated vices and also strengthen its regulatory role to concessionaires at all the ports.
He stated that ‘’consequently, in transmitting the positive values of change in all ramifications, our board shall seek to ensure that the Nigerian Ports Authority is run, in line with modern best practices comparable to the best ports in the maritime world .IN actualizing this conviction, we shall seek expert advice both within and outside the Authority.
‘’The objective here is to ensure that within our tenure of service, the Nigerian Ports Authority is elevated to a higher pedestal that will make it the hub of maritime business in both the west and central African Sub-region’’.
The Chairman disclosed that the board would seek to improve the fortunes of the maritime sector by collaborating with sister agencies such as the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), port concessionaires and others in the implementation of government maritime policies.
Adesoye explained that in achieving this goal, the board shall not lose sight in partnering with terminal and other Ports operators in removing all encumbrances militating against the achievement of optimum performance and improved port services capable of attracting higher vessel patronage, which in turn will translate into more revenue for the nation.
He said the Board will also pursue the core values of efficiency, customer and stakeholder’s satisfaction, safety and security in an innovative manner affirming the board’s unalloyed commitment to work harmoniously with the ministry of Transportation and closely and cooperatively with the NPA management to make Nigerian Ports the best in Africa.
The Chairman expressed the Board’s profound gratitude to President Muhammadu Buhari for his appointment and those of other members saying that it has a unique platform to make A collective contributions to further the advancement of the nation through one of the prime drivers of the economy – the NPA.
He said the role of the NPA in the industrialization and growth of Nigeria’s economy particularly at this period of economic recession cannot be over-emphasised when it is realised that the maritime sector is one of the most important revenue earners after the crude oil sector adding that it behoves the board in the performance of its oversight functions to come up with policies capable of rejuvenating the authority with a view to confronting and overcoming its present challenges.