The Chairman of the Ports Consultative Council (PCC) Otunba Kunle Folarin has urged the new Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala Usman to ensure the agency get its priorities right as regards the agency’s five years strategic plan and its role as landlord in the ports.
Speaking to the Nigerian Tribune in an exclusive chat, Folarin explained that it is important that the new NPA Managing Director knows her priorities as she is new in the nations maritime sector.
According to him, “the five year strategic plan is a priority programme and project which the new MD needs to decide on. She has to decide what would be her priorities. Will it be modernisation of the port? Will it be provision of intermodal transport? Will it be linking all the ports together with the railway system? Will it be development of greenview ports? Will it be improvement of the Free Trade Zones?
“The new Managing Director will have to come out with a blueprint because there are a lot of issues that can be in a priority plan. It is those plans that will become strategic to the development of the port environment and actualisation of the mandate of the NPA under her.”
On NPA role as the landlord of the ports, Folarin explained that, “the NPA needs to improve the infrastructure and superstructure of the ports.
“The NPA needs to also introduce a workable port community system that will link all stakeholders together. The agency has to also create a regime of technical regulation as far as harbour services are concerned.
“We know the NPA has done infrastructure renewal of the common area in the ports, introduced IT in the port system, increased the rate of productivity in harbour services and acquired more tug boats. What is needed now is to continue to implement their landlord roles in those areas that are yet to be done.”
The PCC Chairman further stated that, “the Hadiza Bala Usman led NPA ought to as a matter of priority ensure the competitiveness of Nigeria ports; lobby the National Assembly for the quick passage of the Ports and Harbours Bill; examines issues of maritime security; engage stakeh0olders on their needs and work out consensus and solutions; create sustainable infrastructure at the ports; step up revenue generation models and block all leakages; and improve the quality of service delivery and port productivity amongst others.”