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Policy to promote safety at sea underway

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THE Federal Government has commenced plans to introduce an Insurance Policy on all vessels calling at the Nigerian Ports with a view to accelerating operational efficiency and navigational safety in the nation’s seaports.

The Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority, Hadiza Bala Usman, who dropped the hint in Lagos recently, said the policy will provide avenue for the port management to evacuate abandoned vessels in all the nation’s territorial water.
Bala-Usman, who was addressing major stakeholders of the nation’s maritime sector at a one day quarterly summit of the Ports Consultative Council (PCC) also disclosed that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) has granted approval for a Private Public Partnership (PPP) of N72 billion for the ports access road in Apapa and Tin can Island.

While commenting on the issue of trucks and access to the nation’s seaports, the Managing Director said very soon, only trucks that are housed in the proposed trailer parks will be allowed entry into the port locations; adding that “The Management is to deploy an electronic call-up system that allows access to the ports only when they are needed”
She told the meeting that the Apapa Wharf Road reconstruction project has reached 85 per cent completion, while assuring stakeholders that the road would be fully completed in the next four to six weeks period.

Usman stressed that the efficient utilization of Inland Water Ways is key to resolving the decongestion of the Ports access road.
She stated that a company, Connect-Rail, which is one of the private components engaged by the authority to provide barge evacuation is currently moving cargoes and several tons of containers between Ikorodu to the Terminals through the water.

The Management of the Nigerian Ports Authority is desirous on how it can use the water ways farther even away from Ikorodu to other locations to really ease the congestion out of Apapa and Tin can Island axis.

Speaking on the importance of the Port Consultative Council meeting, the convener and chairman of the Council, Otunmba Kunle Folarin said that the meeting was strategic and an avenue to examine issues relating to the operations of the Port Industry especially as it concerns Port operators.

Otumba Folarin said that at the end of the meeting, the Council always comes up with a Blue print that would enhance efficient port operation and management.

Kunle Folarin had earlier described the current Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority in three words: Decisive, Resourceful and Engaging.
Maintaining that she addresses issues that affect port operation in its entirety, which are germane for efficient port administration.

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