FG to strengthen Ports Authority to perform statutory roles, says minister

The Minister of National Planning Commission, Dr Abubakar Olanrewaju said the Federal Government would strengthen the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to perform its statutory roles for maximum growth of the maritime sector.

The NPA stated this in a statement made available to newsmen on Friday in Lagos after a familiarisation tour of the ports in the Western Zone by the minister.
According to the statement, the minister said NPA had performed ‘effectively and efficiently’ in the discharge of its statutory responsibilities within the concession regime.
It said Olanrewaju reiterated the Federal Government’s resolve to diversify the economy by tapping the enormous maritime potential of the nation as an alternative source of revenue.
The statement quotes the minister as saying that, ``With the challenges facing the oil sector, we must start to look for alternative means of increasing our revenue and the best sector that needs government encouragement is the maritime sector.’’
It noted that Olanrewaju said the maritime sector must be efficient, while both the Federal Government and the port operators would synergise collectively to harness various opportunities within the sector.
``The minister commended the NPA and other stakeholders for their efforts toward overcoming both human and traffic congestion within the port environment being one of the characteristics of the industry before concessioniing
``The Federal Government will not fail in its responsibility in expanding the ports’ access roads as well as come up with a mechanism to boost maritime operations.’’
The statement said the minister pointed out that the concession of most terminals in the nation’s ports was actually done in the national interest.
It noted that the minister said the various internal security surveillance systems in the ports would significantly improve cargo clearance and translate to increased revenue for government.
According to the statement, Olanrewaju assured the management of NPA and other stakeholders that the commission and the National Council on Privatisation would come up with their findings on the challenges facing the industry for government’s consideration.