The new Chairman of the Board of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mr. Emmanuel Adesoye has said that the NPA will ensure the speedy passage of the Ports and Harbour Bill by the National Assembly as well as address the recurring issue of gridlock in Apapa.
Adesoye, who spoke in acceptance of the offer of his appointment also promised to pursue a solution to the poor access roads in the ports.
He explained that these issues, once addressed, will aid port development. He noted that the passage of the Ports and Harbour Bill into law will go a long way in providing enough ground for rapid port expansion.
The NPA chairman said there was the need for a truck-holding bay to accommodate some trucks for the ports.
“Our 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 absence or should I say non-functional truck holding bay – all of which had made port business a tasking venture.
“In addition, the board in collaboration with the management and the Federal Ministry of Transportation will also explore common strategies to ensure the speedy passage into law “the Ports and Harbour bill” by the National Assembly. It is hoped that the bill when passed into law will provide appropriate framework for rapid port expansion and development including capacity building,” he said.
Adesoye also expressed gratitude to President Muhammadu Buhari for the appointment of the board members.
According to him, “The news of the appointment was received with great enthusiasm and humility as the appointment offers us a unique platform to make our collective contributions to further the advancement of the nation through one of the prime drivers of the economy-the NPA.
“Indeed the role of NPA in the industrialisation and growth of Nigeria’s economy particularly at this period of economic recession cannot be overemphasised when it is realised that the maritime sector is one of the most important revenue earners after the crude oil sector. It therefore behoves on our Board in the performance of its oversight functions to come up with concrete policies capable of rejuvenating the Authority with a view to confronting and overcoming its present challenges.
“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 actualising this conviction, we shall seek expert advice both within and outside the Authority.”
He added: “The objective here is to ensure that within our tenure of service, the NPA is elevated to a higher pedestal that will make it the hub of maritime business in both the West and Central African Sub-region.
“Further to the above, the board shall 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), Nigeria Shippers Council (NSC), Ports’ Concessionaires and others in the implementation of government maritime policies.
“In achieving this goal, the board shall not lose sight in partnering with terminal and other Ports operators in removing all encumbrances militating against our collective desire to achieve optimum performance and improved port services capable of attracting higher vessel patronage, which in turn will translate into more revenue for the nation.”
“In the performance of our oversight functions, we shall resolutely commit ourselves to the pursuit of excellence in service predicated on zero tolerance to corruption and its associated vices and also strengthen our regulatory role to Concessionaires at all the ports. We shall also pursue the core values of efficiency, customer and stakeholders’ satisfaction, safety and security in an innovative manner,” he said.