Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Mallam Habib Abdulahi has called for the provision of adequate port infrastructure by the Federal Government and the private sector to facilitate export activities through the nation’s seaports.
Abdulahi, also pointed out that other factors which might be extraneous to the Authority are also critical towards achieving enhanced export activities in the nation’s seaports.
A statement signed by Capt. I. Ebubeogu, the Authority’s General Manager, Public Affairs, said Malam Habib spoke through the General Manager Capital Project, Engr. Rufai Mohammed in a paper titled “Providing Enabling Port Infrastructure to Enhance Trade” at the just concluded two day International Seatrade and Investment Convention (ISIC) 2015, under the theme “Exploring New Trade Frontiers”.
Stressing that the provision of appropriate port infrastructure was necessary to enhance trade in the economy, Malam Habib assured that the Authority would encourage any effort designed to change the trade orientation of the nation from import dependent to export.
He reiterated that as globally accepted seaports accounts for over 80 per cent by volume of International trade and commerce, emphasising that for a seaport to be competitive, it must have a robust infrastructural base amongst other requirements.
He argued that with the major infrastructural improvements embarked upon by the Authority in its ports and harbour in all its four pilotage districts, coupled with the impending 25 year port master plan which has reached an advanced stage, the Organisation is being positioned to properly meet the demand of all categories of port users for both imports and exports.
Malam Habib explained that mindful of the Federal Government determination of delivering an efficient port system for the overall good of the nation’s economy, the Authority was consolidating and entrenching the gains of the port reform by facilitating and synergizing the activities of the Private Terminal Operators, Shipping Lines, Freight Forwarders and other stakeholders, as well as improving the existing port infrastructure.
The Managing Director who enumerated a number of completed and on-going capital projects embarked upon by the Authority explained that the projects were meant to add efficiency to the nation’s seaports as well as to make the system competitive, effective and user friendly.
“Sustained efforts at providing the enabling port infrastructure has impacted on the overall port operational efficiency”, he added.
In his goodwill message at the opening ceremony of the convention, the Managing Director had commended the conveyors of the event, being the first of its kind in nation’s maritime industry for their fore-sight and said the event would not have come at a better than now “as the nation strives to promote export trade, in that way changing the orientation of our nations sea trade which is import dependent”.