The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Managing Director, Hadiza Bala Usman on Wednesday lauded the dedication of the Lagos Channel Management (LCM) which has increasingly resulted in enhance revenue generation, pointing out that the Authority’s partnership with the LCM has been highly productive.
Hadiza indicated this during the launching of NPA’s four new tug boats at a colourful ceremony in Lagos, stressing that her quest to reposition the Ports for greater operational efficiency, and meet Stakeholder’s expectations in the shipping sector particularly, in the areas of Port safety and security was strongly on course.
The Managing Director highlighted that the NPA was sincerely fulfilling its obligations to manage the 13.5 metres Lagos Channels, as well as seriously addressing the challenges in the Port business, in partnership with the Lagos Channel Management Company (LCM), noting that the LCM had removed about 100 critical wrecks in the Lagos Channels since the Authority’s partnership with LCM began years ago.
“This is indeed a milestone in the efforts to improve Port efficiency, safety of navigation and in order to boost the good fortune of the Organization and the community at large”, Hadiza stated, seeking further collaboration of core industry Stakeholders to assist the Federal Government in diversifying the economy.
“The partnership with LCM has helped to bring the depth of the channels to more than 13.5 metres”, she pointed out, stressing that the biggest of the WAFMAX series of vessels would soon be calling, regularly at the Lagos Ports.
In expatiating, Hadiza indicated the functions of the commissioned tug boats, to include assisting bigger vessels attain easy maneuvering and berthing at the quays, even as the pilot takes the vessels through. The boats are equally equipped to effectively assist in firefighting, as well as in meeting Search and Rescue (SAR) challenges.
The new built tug boats commissioned were named Mt. Daura, Mt. Ubima, Mt. Uromi and Mt. Majiya; and were each launched by the Managing Director of the NPA, Hadiza Bala Usman; Barister Mrs. Constance Harry Onukwagha; Chief (Dr.) Mrs Adenike Akande and Senator Binta Masi Garba in that order.
In her goodwill message, a distinguished Senator, Mrs Binta Masi Garba affirmed that commissioning the four tug boats in one day was laudable and that the National Assembly would do everything to support what the NPA is doing, since it would help to improve the economy of the nation, especially in the present situation.
In her own speech, the President of Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Mrs Adenike Akande while acknowledging that Nigerian women are perfectly doing well, commended the NPA Boss for achieving so much, within a short period.
Also speaking at the event, the General Manager, Monitoring and Compliance, Western Ports of the NPA, Capt. Iheanacho Ebubeogu stated that the tug boats were being commissioned and deployed to expedite voyage to and from the sea in line with changing transport dynamics.
He further revealed that the NPA maintains tier-2 status in line with MARPOL convention with the capability to arrest pollution before they spread to other areas of concerns to delight of Stakeholders. Ebubeogu said the tugs could be used to, amongst other functions, salvage ships which go aground.
In his speech, the Chairman of the NPA Board of Directors, Mr. Emmanuel Olajide Adesoye extolled the Management for doing a ”fantastic job”, by launching the boats.
He explained that the tugs are expected to enhance the revenue position of the Authority and urged the Organization to ensure that Nigeria develops the capacity to build our own likes within the next five years.
In his remarks, the Flag Officer Commanding (FOC) Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral F.D. Bobai congratulated the NPA for the feat and called for greater synergy with the Navy, especially in the training of Dock Masters and future Managers of the crafts.
The memorable event was witnessed by top Management of the Organization, the Executive Directors Marine and Operations, Dr. Sokonte Huttin Davies, Engineering and Technical Services, Professor Idris Abubakar and Finance and Administration, Mohammed Bello Koko.
Amongst other Stakeholders who congratulated the NPA for this achievement included the Managing Director, PTOL, Mrs Lizzy Obvude; the representative of the DG NIMASA, Executive Director, Finance and Administration, Mr. Bashir Jamoh.