As part of the strategic plans for improving ports infrastructure, the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) says it is developing a competitive port to meet the world index for ports ratings.
This was disclosed by the NPA Managing Director/CEO, Malam Mohammed Bello-Koko, during the ports authority assessment of the newly renovated Mission to Seafarers (MTS) center and export terminal at Apapa, Lagos, on Thursday.
Persecondnews reports that NPA, under the leadership of Bello-Koko, fulfilled its promise to the global community of seafarers to revamp its Nigerian outpost which has been dilapidated and abandoned for years.
Bello Koko had in March this year, visited the MTS facility in company of the Nigeria Head of the Mission to Seafarers and former Managing Director of the NPA, Chief Adebayo Sarumi, and lamented the dilapidated state of the MTS facility and promised to bring it to international standards.
Speaking during a working inspection of the facility, the NPA boss who led the agency’s senior management team, said the upgraded facility will improve Nigeria’s maritime ranking.
He said: ‘‘The essence of this place is when seafarers, captains, etc comes into the country like every other country, they should have where to rest, spend a few hours and relax, and we discovered that it was not in a good state, and we promised to do something about it a few months ago.
‘’As you can see, we just came to inspect the state of work and I’m really impressed with what I’m seeing. This is one of the index for port ratings in the world. I can say the ratings of NPA and Nigeria will actually be improved with the provision of this facility.’’
Also, evaluating export procedures at the ports terminal, the NPA observed that compliance is a standard operating procedure that has substantially increased Nigeria’s commodity export.
‘’We have found solutions on how to quickly process the export into the ports to meet a voyage, which is the vessel. What we did was to set up the export processing terminals, we gave licenses.
“It is supposed to be a vocation where you bring in exports, you sort them out, process them, test and document them before you seal the container and send it straight to the vessel for voyage,’’ Bello-Koko said.
Also speaking, the Managing Director Diamondstar Export Processing Terminal, Mr Olatunji Baale, said Nigeria is implementing a seamless and more cost effective export process.
‘’The last nine days of our kick-off, we have done over 300 export boxes into the port without any challenges.’’
On his part, the Head of the Mission, Chief Adebayo Sarumi, commended the NPA management for placing premium on seafarers’ welfare and the sense of urgency with which the project was executed.