Political interference hobbles development of Eastern ports—NPA MD

The Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala Usman has revealed that political interference and considerations is one of the reasons impeding increased revenue drive in Nigeria’s Eastern ports.

Speaking recently in Lagos at a public event, the NPA MD explained that, “impediments towards increased revenue drive in the Eastern ports are political interference and considerations, injection of private interests, bureaucratic red tapes, youth restiveness and terrorism, lack of effective  monitoring of our offshore operations and shallow depth of the long river channels.”

On critical factors required to grow NPA’s revenue in Eastern ports, Hadiza Bala Usman stated that, “to expand the revenue base of the NPA in the Eastern ports would entail the following: dredging of the channels to allow deep drafted vessels to come in.

“There should be continuous collaboration with the Nigerian Navy and other security agencies towards ensuring security of the channels and waterways. Maintenance of the terminals and jetties towards tracking the tonnage handled so as to maximise revenue accruable from the cargo throughputs. It is especially important for the jetties as bulk of the cargo operation takes place at the jetties for handling of liquid bulk.

“We also need virile port promotions to increase port patronage. This efforts would increase tonnage handled by the concessionaires and automatically our throughput.

“We also need effective monitoring of our offshore operations and conscious efforts to run port business along commercial principles.

“It’s also imperative that the passing into law of the proposed Ports & Harbours Bill should be done to give proper delineation and extension of the ports limit”, she declared.