Furtherance to its plan to accelerate operational efficiency and navigational safety in the nation’s seaports, the federal government will soon institute Wreck Insurance Policy (WIP) on all vessels calling at the Nigerian Ports, Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala-Usman has said.
The policy, according to the NPA boss, will provide avenue for the port management to evacuate abandoned vessels in the nation’s territorial water.
The NPA boss stated this while addressing stakeholders in the nation’s maritime sector at a one-day quarterly summit of the Ports Consultative Council (PCC). Also, she disclosed that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) recently granted approval for a Private Public Partnership (PPP) of N72 billion for the ports access road in Apapa and Tin can Island.
Commenting on the issue of trucks and access to the nation’s seaports, she said very soon only trucks that are housed in the proposed trailer parks would be allowed entry into the port locations adding that, “the NPA will deploy an electronic call-up system that allows access to the ports only when they are needed.”
She said the Apapa Wharf Road reconstruction project has reached 85 per cent completion, while assuring stakeholders that the road would be fully completed in the next four to six weeks.
Bala-Usman stressed that the efficient utilisation of Inland Water Ways is key to resolving the decongestion of the Ports access road.
She stated that a company, Connect-Rail, which is one of the private components engaged by the authority to provide barge evacuation is currently moving cargoes and several tons of containers between Ikorodu to the Terminals through the water.
She said the management of NPA was desirous on how it can use the water ways farther even away from Ikorodu to other locations to ease the congestion out of Apapa and Tin can Island axis.
Speaking on the importance of the PCC meeting, the convener and Chairman of the Council, Kunle Folarin said that the meeting was strategic and an avenue to examine issues relating to the operations of the Port Industry especially as it concerns Port operators. Folarin said the Council always comes up with a blue print that would enhance efficient port operation and management.