Malam Habib Abdullahi, MD, NPA
The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has expressed its readiness to partner private investors and other stakeholders to ensure the sustainable development of the Onne Port Complex and Oil and Gas Free Trade Zone (FTZ).
General Manager Eastern Ports, NPA, Mr. Sotonye Etomi, dropped the hint in a chat with journalists on the sideline of the just-concluded Oil and Gas Trade and Investment Forum held in Onne, Rivers State.
Etomi, who was hitherto the Acting Executive Director, Marine and Operations before the recent changes in NPA Headquarters, Lagos, said a synergy with investors would ensure the sustainable growth and development of the FTZ.
He hailed the investors/stakeholders for their confidence in the Federal Government port reforms policies, which led to the handover of the nation’s seaports to concessionaires.
Etomi said the free trade zone was the most conducive and user-friendly in Africa, assuring that their investment would be secured in line with international best practices.
He stated that the panic and lack of confidence brought by fear of insecurity of lives and properties especially in the oil and gas rich Niger Delta region was a thing of the past, and revealed that the seaports located in the Eastern part of the country were characterised by boost in their operations in recent times.
A lawyer by profession, Etomi, who has worked in NPA in various capacities, maintained that the movement of cargoes and other logistics needed for effective administration and operations, are in top gear without any disturbance.
The Chief Executive of the Eastern Ports pointed out that the duties of the NPA also include to collaborate with security arrangement within the ports, and to ensure that there are no security breaches along the channels.
According to Etomi, the concessionaires are experiencing adequate returns from their investments with the inflow of huge traffic into the ports. This, he believes, is achievable, due to the security measures that are put in place by management.
He reiterated that management of NPA have made some commitments; all meant to make the ports operations safer for business.
He said the nation’s seaports have been more defined due to the concession arrangement, even as he pointed out that NPA was operating on a landlord model with statutory duties, including the ownership and administration of land and water within the confines of its territory.