MD NPA, Hadiza Bala Usman

The Nigerian Ports Authority NPA and the Port of Antwerp, Belgium have signed a Memorandum of Understanding MoU, designed to boost operational efficiency at the nation’s various seaports. This is in line with the desire of the managements of the two ports to deepen a mutually beneficial relationship, which already exists between the two ports.

It was also gathered that this synergy is expected to strengthen the bilateral relations between the two organisations.

Speaking with stakeholders at the Marina, Lagos corporate headquarters of the NPA, Managing Director of the authority, Hadiza Bala Usman, disclosed that in addition to boosting efficiency through expertise, development and digitalization of port systems, the MoU would ensure simultaneous growth with new skills being acquired and new trends explored.

Represented by the Executive Director Marine and Operations, Dr. Sokonte Davies, the MD also told the stakeholders that the agreement which will last for five years effective November 27, 2019 will also broaden technical skills and practical knowledge.

It was further gathered that the MoU covers vast areas including infrastructure, stimulation of trade growth as well as concretising the enabling environment for the tenents of Public Private Partnership PPP to thrive among the two ports.

Meanwhile, President, Port Of Antwerp, Said Annick De Rider, who led the team from the port, said they see greater future in the Nigerian Ports Authority NPA as it makes progress in its concessioned regime, saying that the reason for the pact was to enhance a mutually beneficial relationship.

 “West Africa takes a large share in the traffic of Port of Antwerp. It is therefore our ambition to further strengthen our position in West Africa. We aim to pass our know-how and experience. We hope that this mission will create new fruitful contacts, new connections and new business opportunities in order to ensure future growth for years to come”, the President said.

In his contribution, the chairman, Board of Directors of the NPA Emmanuel Adesoye stated that the industry expects the two organisations to leverage on each other’s expertise for growth in trade, which would result in global economic development for Nigeria and Belgium.

The Ports of Antwerp is the second largest Port in Europe that aims for flexibility, response to a rapidly evolving maritime market, allowing the port to continue playing roles in cooperation, adaptability and focusing greatly on digitalisation.