A seaport terminal in Lagos

Nigeria’s ability to achieve her Economic Recovery and Growth Plan ERGP of the Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government largely depends on her ability to address the huge deficiency in seaport infrastructure, especially port access roads, says Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority NPA, Hadiza Bala Usman.

She also said that in addition to helping the government achieve its ERGP projections, the country needs adequate infrastructure to enable her seaports attain the hub seaport of destination in West and Central African sub-region.

Addressing maritime stakeholders during the quarterly meeting of the Ports Consultative Council PCC held in Lagos at the weekend, she also said there was urgent need for greater synergy among the agencies of the government towards tackling critical issues facing optimal operational capacity of the seaports in the areas of maritime safety and security, port access roads and multimodal transportation of cargo in and out of the seaports.

“Indeed analysing the overriding objectives of Federal Government’s ERGP depends largely on how swiftly we can correct the inherent deficits in our port infrastructure especially the port access roads.

“Stakeholders in the port industry must therefore adopt closer synergy towards greater operational efficiency by proffering ways of tackling these challenges. This is also crucial for government in the face of its desire and commitment of making the nation’s seaports the leading ports in Africa”, she said.

 The MD, who commended the PCC for impacting positively in the industry, however affirmed the commitment of the NPA management in tackling these critical issues facing optimal operational capacity and efficiency of the seaports, which she believes would help the country harness the huge maritime potential at her disposal.

in areas that border on Maritime Safety and Security, Port Access Roads and Multimodal transportation of cargo in view of the rich potentials at our disposal.

It was gathered that as part of efforts to achieve these objectives, the NPA management has embarked measure aimed at addressing the bottlenecks in the ease of doing business at the ports, which include some palliatives towards ending the traffic congestion in Apapa, which houses the nation’s two biggest cargo seaports.

To this effect, the authority has converted the Lillypond Container Terminal into a holding bay for trucks to remove some trucks out of the roads. This is in line with the introduction of automated Call-Up System for trucks and other incentives given for the transfer of cargo through barges from Ikorodu, Epe and Ijegun amongst others.

She further made a strong for improved synergy among all stakeholders towards making the best use of the opportunities provided by the shipping and maritime industry towards the growth of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product GDP..

Meanwhile, chairman of the PCC Otunba Kunle Folarin, who also spoke at the event, appreciated and commended the MD, stressing that her vast accomplishments have indeed impacted positively in the sector.  “We’ve continued to score a lot of mileage and we need the support of all agencies to move the council to the next level”.

He disclosed that the council is doing all it could to collaborate with stakeholders in the transport sector to bring required developmental progress to the industry and called for more collaboration to grow the transport sector of the nation’s economy.