collaboration and consultation

“For the maritime industry to prosper and realize its potentials, there must be collaboration and consultation all the time because there are many interests in the port system and among these interests, there must be some unison in their operations, otherwise people of different interest will do things differently,” says Executive Secretary of Nigerian Shippers’ Council, Hassan Bello.

Bello made this observation during a recent courtesy call on the Managing Director of Nigerian Port Authority (NPA) Sanusi Ado Bayero.

He said the visit was to seek Bayero’s cooperation to enable NSC discharge its duties. “The port authority is the primary interest. Once we get the cooperation of the NPA then I think other things will come to place. We are developing a port community system so that there will be interface and equilibrium in port operation. Unless one knows what the other is doing, you may not have the balance that is needed in port operation,” Bello said.

While requesting that the NPA partner with the NSC to ensure that dry ports located in the hinterland are effectively utilised, Bello said the bad state of the port access roads must also be given priority.

He also appealed for office space at the port to enable NSC staff carry out interventions when necessary. “All the efficiency in the port will be in vain if we don’t have good access roads and cargo is not removed from the port. We want to see 70 percent examination at off dock terminals so that space is reserved at the terminal. The port should be a transit port, not storage (facility),” he said.

He commended NPA for improvement in its services especially in the area of automation. “The e-payment has made Nigerian ports extremely significant and almost at par with other ports in the world. This has been acknowledged internationally and we are extremely proud of that. We are also proud of various improvements in marine services, the purchase of tug boats, pilot cutters and development of deep sea ports which means we are moving in the right direction. The NPA is embarking on a journey of reforms and technology to enhance the efficiency of port operations,” he said.

Earlier in his address, the NPA helmsman promised the NSC of full cooperation at all times. He said that the NPA will work with the Council in achieving its mandate. “We are in a symbiotic relationship and there is no limit to how much we can explore in terms of cooperation. It is a continuous relationship and we look forward to achieving a lot together. We will not be able to deliver our mission to stakeholders without each other’s cooperation,” he said.

Also speaking, Executive Director, Marine and Operations, Engr. David Omonibeke explained that the earlier request to grant office space to the NSC was not granted because of the directive of the government to reduce the number of agencies at the port.

He, however, promised that the Council will be given access to the port adding that NPA will also ensure it avails the NSC any information it requires to effectively carry out its duty.

By Pita Ochai


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