A RoRo vessel

Francis Ezem

Efforts by the management of the Nigerian Ports Authority to increase vessel traffic to the Eastern Ports have continued to yield returns as the Rivers Port, Port Harcourt is expected to handle its first Roll on Roll off RoRo vessel operations in the next couple of weeks.

RoRo vessels are specialised ships meant for carrying fully built automobiles. As the name implies, the automobiles are made to roll (driven) into the ship at the port of loading and roll off at the port of destination.

This first RoRo Vessel to berth in the history of the Rivers Port is scheduled to depart the United States of America in the middle of March and arrive Port Harcourt at the end of March or early April.

It is expected that the introduction of RoRo operations will in no small measure increase the revenue base of Rivers Port in particular and NPA as a whole.

According to a statement issued by the General Manager, Corporate and Strategic Communications, Jatto A Adams, the achievement is in tandem with the policy of NPA to carry out landmark reforms as instituted by the current management of the NPA towards ensuring that all ports in Nigeria become optimally functional.

Recall that the management had before now takes some strategic steps toward making the eastern ports more viable in terms of import and export activities, which include but not limited to the introduction of 10 per cent discount on harbour dues on some categories of cargoes berthing at the eastern ports, the dredging of Escravos Channel in Warri, the deployment of equipment and machinery to improve operational efficiency and constant engagement with stakeholders towards achieving industrial harmony and peaceful co-existence.

Others include synergy with shipping companies, which saw the deployment of flat bottom vessels to Calabar, working with the Nigerian Navy, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA and the Port Police Command to combat crimes on the nation’s waterways as well as engaging the Federal Ministry of Works to ensure the rehabilitation of access roads to and from ports in the region.

The management assures of its commitment to ensuring that all ports in Nigeria operate at maximum capacity to the advantage of all Nigerians.