Stakeholders Braze Up for Ports, NPA Reforms

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Eromosele Abiodun

As the new Managing Director of Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), Ms. Hadiza Bala Usman settles down to work, there is apprehension among stakeholders and staff of NPA about the imminent reforms of the port, THISDAY checks has revealed.

Bala Usman will begin her first official engagement outside Lagos on Wednesday, few weeks after she assumed duty as the Chief Executive Officer of the ports authority.
Industry players and stakeholders told THISDAY that there is hope that a genuine transformation of the corruption ridden port industry is about to begin.

Top industry stakeholders, who spoke to THISDAY, said they are confident in her ability to turn the NPA and the industry around.

President of Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents (CMDLCA), Mr. Lucky Amiwero, said that there is hope that the port industry is set to be repositioned to effectively play its role as a key revenue earner for the country, especially at this period when the price of Nigeria’s main revenue earner, oil is at its lowest in over ten years.

Amiwero said he is confident that Usman understands the port industry very well as it was during her time as the Enterprise Officer of Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE) that the privatisation agency successfully concession the Nigerian seaports.

Speaking on the planned reform, a port industry commentator, Mr. Ismail Aniemu, said her concerns reflects a larger perspective shared by industry player, citizens, thinkers and activists.

The NPA boss had while speaking on her new appointment as the NPA helmsman said: “Our ports are a critical artery of the economy, and it is our duty to ensure that the operators deliver port services at the standards that our businesses deserve in the 21st century in supporting President Buhari’s administration agenda of economic diversity.

“We will strive for enhanced operating efficiency to facilitate improved revenue generation and inflows into the national treasury. We will listen to our customers, importers, exporters and other agencies working in the ports to improve on our service delivery to the nation, anything less than world-class services is simply not acceptable, as attaining such heights is a mission to which I am certain we can all subscribe.”

“As a team leader, I have come to add my best efforts to transform this agency so that we can collectively achieve results for our industry. We shall prioritise investment in primary equipment and infrastructure and services committed to by NPA in the concession agreements to hasten clearance of imports and exports from the ports. As we collaborate in the best traditions of public service, I believe that with commitment and diligence our hard work can position NPA as a model agency.”