NPA Moves to Enhance Safe Navigation of Vessels


Eromosele Abiodun
The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has put plans in place to enhance the safe navigation of vessels calling Nigerian Ports.

As part of the plan, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved contracts for the rehabilitation of the dilapidated Control Towers in Apapa and Tin-Can Island Seaports.

This, the NPA said, would ensure that distress calls are timely reported and responded to in time of emergency at sea.
Speaking at the quarterly stakeholders meeting held in Lagos, the Managing Director of the NPA, Hadiza Bala-Usman said the contract, which was awarded to Julius Berger Construction Company for execution, would enhance communication between the vessels at sea and the destination port in Nigeria.

Bala-Usman, who was represented by the authority’s Executive Director, Marine and Operations, Sokonte Davies and Executive Director, Finance and Administration, Mohammed Bello-Koko, both of the NPA, said it was expected that Julius Berger, would move to site soon.

Bello-Koko said on assumption of duty, the present leadership of the NPA discovered that one of the infrastructures that were found in dilapidated state was the Control Towers in Apapa and Tin-Can Island.

“We commenced a procurement process, which went through the bidding process. The company that built that towers was Julius Berger, and to that effect, we got FEC approval for the reconstruction that also involves reequipping of those Control Towers,” he said.

Bello-Koko said the essence of the contract is to reequip the towers, change the radar system, change the communication system and put an upgraded communication system that would improve communication with ships coming into Nigerian Ports from Fairway Buoy down to the port.

According to him, the NPA has also commenced the procurement process for the construction of a Control Tower in Onne Port, actually has never being built in Onne before.

“The situation is embarrassing but it is being built now. We believed that the procurement process would have been concluded before the end of the year. Naturally, it will go through the Federal Executive Council for approval. We believe that it will be approved because it is necessary tool for communication between the ships and our ports,” he said.