The Nigerian Port Authority (NPA) Managing Director, Hadiza Bala Usman has announced that the Authority would soon complete the process of engaging an International Consultancy Company, in a bid to achieve a dream of deeper draught for all future dredging operations.
The Managing Director highlighted this while speaking at the Daily Trust Headquarters in Abuja, when she paid a courtesy call on the newspaper company as part of the one year anniversary of her Management, assuring stakeholders that she would build on existing synergy between the Organization and the Nigeria Customs Service so as to bring quick realization to the desire to make NPA the hub of Maritime activities in the sub region.
Emphasising the need for appropriate optimization study which would serve as a dredging benchmark, Hadiza also promised to support effort to get quick approval from the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for the development of the framework for the national single window, owing to its pivotal importance in the Maritime Industry.
She indicated that the Ports have recently experienced a surge in the export of Soya, Yam and some other Agricultural Produce as well as solid mineral resources and expressed the hope that these would help improve government foreign reserve soon.
In another development, the NPA Boss while speaking at the Silverbird Television breakfast programme, noted that there has been clear indication of improved operational efficiency since the Terminal Operators took over the operational activities of the Ports, adding that with the recent reversion to 24 hours Ports Operations, the vision of being the best Port in the sub region would not be farfetched.
Usman pointed out that Apapa Port currently has all agencies in place to ensure that the Port runs a successful 24- hour operational regime.
She acknowledged freight forwarders fears on the security implications of receiving their consignments at night.
“We have brought this to the notice of the Port Police Command who are already working on handling the situation”, she explained further, saying that the rehabilitation of Apapa Access Roads which would be done in segments, have ensured the provision of alternative routes during the period of the job.
Furthermore, Usman said the idea of removing every cargo out of the Port cannot be effective without intermodal transport links, and submitting that a change in policy that seek to improve government revenue and encourage efficiency, bring about a reduction in cost and encourage level playing field for investors should be encouraged at all times.