The new Chairman of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Board of Directors, Emmanuel Olajide Adesoye, has restated the commitment of the board to adherence to due process in the discharge of its duties.
Towards this end, he assured that “the Board shall seek to ensure that the organisation is run in line with modern best practices comparable to the best ports in the maritime world”.
In an interview shortly after the inauguration of the new Board in Abuja, Adesoye said NPA has an important role to play in the industrialization and growth of Nigeria’s economy “particularly at this period of economic recession”.
“Indeed the role of Nigerian Ports Authority in the industrialization and growth of Nigeria’s economy particularly at this period of economic recession cannot be overemphasized when it is realized that the maritime sector is one of the most important revenue earners after the crude oil sector.
“It therefore behoves on our Board in the performance of its oversight functions to come up with concrete policies capable of rejuvenating the Authority with a view to confronting and overcoming its present challenges.
“Consequently, in transmitting the positive values of change in all ramifications, our Board shall seek to ensure that the Nigerian Ports Authority is run in line with modern best practices comparable to the best ports in the maritime world. In actualizing this conviction, we shall seek expert advice both within and outside the Authority.
“The objective here is to ensure that within our tenure of service, the Nigerian Ports Authority is elevated to a higher pedestal that will make it the hub of maritime business in both the West and Central African Sub-region.
“Further to the above, the board shall seek to improve the fortunes of the maritime sector by collaborating with sister agencies such as the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), Nigeria Shippers Council (NSC), Ports’ Concessionaires and others in the implementation of government maritime policies.
“In achieving this goal, the board shall not lose sight in partnering with terminal and other Ports operators in removing all encumbrances militating against our collective desire to achieve optimum performance and improved port services capable of attracting higher vessel patronage, which in turn will translate into more revenue for the nation,” he said.
According to him, key challenges that are utmost in the targets of the board will be to address along with the local management, the perennial Apapa gridlock, poor access roads – leading to the ports and absence of a functional truck holding bay
Furthermore, he said the Board in collaboration with the management and the Federal Ministry of Transportation would also explore common strategies to ensure the speedy passage into law “the Ports and Harbour bill” by the National Assembly.
“It is hoped that the bill when passed into law will provide appropriate framework for rapid port expansion and development including capacity building.
“In the performance of our oversight functions, we shall resolutely commit ourselves to the pursuit of excellence in service predicated on zero tolerance to corruption and its associated vices and also strengthen our regulatory role to concessionaires at all the ports.
“We shall also pursue the core values of efficiency, customer and stakeholders’ satisfaction, safety and security in an innovative manner.”, he added.