The International Association of Ports and Harbours (IAPH) African Regional Vice President, Hadiza Bala Usman has charged continental key players as well as the national stakeholders to assiduously work at optimizing maritime benefits, for the economic liberation of the African people.
Hadiza who is also the Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) stated this in Abuja, during the ongoing IAPH Conference at the Transcorp Hotel, stressing that Africa must definitely have a place of pride amidst the fact, that 39 out of the 54 countries in the continent are endowed with littoral assets.
Emphasizing the urgent need for optimal exploitation of the continent’s vast maritime dividends, the NPA Boss also enjoined operators within the continent to imbibe best practices in the areas of speed of operation, particularly in service delivery, by adopting new techniques.
She reiterated that the IAPH from inception had helped promote port development across the world through synergy and collaboration for efficient and effective port operations and shipping activities and stressed that members of the Association must consciously leverage on one another’s technical expertise in line with best practices, pointing out that the use of barges, inland water ways, the efficient utilization of dry ports and the deployment of pipelines for the evacuation of cargoes across African ports and indeed the world over is the route to go, should we want to compete within the comity of nations.
“Organizations like the World Trade Organization (WTO), The International Maritime Organization (IMO) and United Nations Conference on Trade and Development UNCTAD are here to avail us the opportunity to latest global practice and environment that exists for the development of Ports in Africa”, she told a gathering of technocrats, stakeholders and operators in the world under one roof in attempt at proffering solutions to the many questions facing port operations globally but with specific consideration on matters concerning “Hinterland Connectivity”.
The Conference’s areas of discussion include: Prioritization of effective policies, funding, Infrastructural Upgrade, Administrative Excellence, Blue Economy and Regional Integration. Others areas of coverage include: Operational Efficiency, Digital Infusion and ICT utilization, Trade Facilitation, Capacity Building, Revenue Generation and other areas of Best practices as may echo during the conference.