NPA Ports Gate
The Rivers Port Complex (RPC), which has its headquarters in the Rivers State capital, Port Harcourt, has reiterated its resolve to tackle the challenges confronting it in the discharge of its statutory roles and responsibilities.
The Port Manager of RPC, Mr. Lawrence Oladele Alabi, who stated this in a chat with journalists, said that the port under his management is proactive in addressing critical concerns facing it. According to him, his management is committed to addressing various challenges militating against high performance of RPC operations.
A statement issued in Port Harcourt and signed by NPA Senior Manager Public Affairs, Mrs. Barbara Ejemeh Nchey-Achukwu, quoted Alabi saying that the performance of the RPC would be based on what is on ground for the last six years, since the concessionaires took over the running of the ports.
Nchey-Achukwu, who is also the Chief Port Public Affairs Officer of RPC further quoted the Port Manager saying that though there were areas of improvement for terminal operators across the port, he acknowledged that their presence has brought improvement to port operations.
His words: “There are new rules for the discharge of operations in the port. The benchmark has since been raised upward. The port in the last 6 years, since the take of concessionaires has experienced considerable growth, both in ships/vessels traffic. The key performance of the port has improved tremendously. The average turnaround time has witnessed improvement too.
“Notwithstanding the improvement, I recognise that there are significant areas that the terminal operators need to improve upon in order to compete favourably in the maritime sector of the economy for maximum input. Such areas include capacity development among their staffs and the stevedoring firms contracted for some certain operations,” he added. On the cargo throughput of RPC, Alabi said there was a tremendous improvement in cargo throughput at the port.
According to him, from January to September 2012, ship traffic records a total of 355 vessels with gross registered tonnage of 5,147,029 handled. Cargo throughput achieved in the same period is 4,103,298 metric tonnes. This is made up of 3,792,772 inward, and 310,526 outward cargoes. The cargoes include dry bulk, refined petroleum products, bagged rice and fish.
He lauded the concession programme of the Federal Government which led to the handover of the nation’s seaports to concessionaires, and maintained the concession policy has been very beneficial in enhancing the infrastructural development of the ports.
The Port Manager however enjoined the concessionaires not to rest on their oars, pointing out that they need to work harder to meet up with the provisions of the agreement they signed with the Federal Government through NPA.
He assured that RPC would continue to play its pivotal role in facilitating a favourable platform for operations, by maintaining adequate security measures as stipulated in the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS) initiated by the global maritime watchdog, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).