THE Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), says it plans to renew and expand its facilities nationwide.
The agency said the plan included the expansion of the seaports and terminals for greater efficiency.
This, it said, would bring about a healthy competitive environment among players in the maritime industry.
Acting Managing Director of NPA, Mohammed Bello-Koko who made this disclosure at the just-concluded strategic retreat for the authority top management cadre, assured that the agency was working towards repositioning the nation’s seaports for greater efficiency, safety, and accountability.
Bello-Koko said the NPA was working on creating and sustaining a competitive advantage by offering best-in-class port operations.
He said, “Improving the turnaround time of vessels and reducing cargo dwell time is critical to attracting more vessels to our seaports and optimizing the business opportunities that the landlocked countries with whom we share borders present a critical success factor in actualizing our growth projections.
“The need to attract larger vessels and maximally benefit from the economies of scale that come with them shows that the ongoing efforts to have deep seaports in Lekki, Badagry, and Akwa Ibom, among others, are steps in the right direction. In the meantime, we are constantly scaling up our responsibility of dredging our channels to safely berth vessels of reasonable sizes whilst encouraging the use of flat bottom vessels in areas of low draught.
“Let me seize this moment to remind us that our drive towards attaining the compliance status for Quality Management System (ISO 9001), Environment Management System (ISO 14001) as well as Occupational Health and Safety Management System (ISO 45001) is no fluke, and all hands must be on deck to make it a reality.”
The MD disclosed that as part of efforts to position the agency towards greater efficiency, safety, and accountability, the management had outlined factors that would enhance such prospects as well as capacity to garner greater market share, which included infrastructure renewal and expansion, the introduction of barge operations and the automation of truck transit through the electronic call-up system.
Others, according to him, include improvement in the sources of revenue and collection, plugging income leakages and reducing overhead costs, formulation and implementation of policies aimed at incentivising patronage of the eastern ports.
According to Bello-Koko, the disruptions caused by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic presented a learning curve, especially for organisations such as NPA that operate in a sector that is global in scope to be constantly ready for dynamics in the form of increased competition and innovation.