The Nigerian Ports Authority says the Eastern corridor seaports are underutilized and must be made to function optimally.
The Chairman of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Board, Chief Akin Anderson Ricketts said this at the NPA Board inauguration by the Minister of Transportation, Mr, Rotimi Amaechi in a controlled and brief ceremony.
Other board members include; Mohammed Koko, Onari Brown, Sen. Binki Garba, Sen. John Udoidighe, Abdullwahab Adeshina, Ghazali Mohammed, Mustapha Aminu Dutse and Prof. Idris Abubakar.
The Minister told the new board not to run a parallel management. “It is important you work with the management. It is important you realize you are not the management, you are a board.
He also tasks the new board to ensure smooth operations at the ports. “We are in unusual times but we cannot afford to shut our seaports. Activities must continue” he said.
Chief Ricketts who spoke on behalf of the newly inaugurated board also indicated that the intractable congestion at the Lagos ports must be dealt with as a priority challenge thus pledged the board’s full cooperation to enable the NPA deal with the challenges.
“The major issues confronting our ports today are capacity utilization and evacuation corridors. While the ports in the East are being grossly underutilized due to many factors, the efficiency of the ports in Lagos is hampered by inadequate evacuation corridors that lead to congestion on the road, which ultimately affects prompt service delivery. This is a challenge that we intend to confront head-on in conjunction with other stakeholders, with a view to ameliorating the sufferings of port users and ease business in the port, as envisaged by the Federal Government” he promised.
“We are sure that NPA wouldn’t have its share of challenges and issues that need to be resolved or need immediate attention. We will do that in conjunction with the Management and all relevant stakeholders. We will ensure that we give every issue and matter that comes to our attention the consideration it deserves and deal with it fairly and objectively, without favour or ill will” the Chairman assured.
Chief Rickets also promised synergy and effective oversight of the NPA without constituting itself into an alternative management.
“We will create an atmosphere where employees would be given the opportunity to air their views and express dissent on any policy or action they feel strong about. And we will ensure that measures are put in place so that this process is not unduly abused.”
He promised that they will ensure that feedback mechanisms are in place from their major stakeholders and port users so that there will be improvement on service delivery, efficiency and capacity.