FG concludes plans to explore alternative funding for ports challenges

By: Joy Enamuna

Federal government has said that they
exploring numerous funding alternatives to address port infrastructural challenges, including Public-Private Partnerships (PPP).

Speaking on behalf of govt. the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Mohammed Bello Koko hinted Stakeholders during a breakfast meeting which was organized by Maritime Reporters’ Association of Nigeria (MARAN).

Bello-Koko, who was ably represented by the General Manager, NPA MDs office, Mr. Ayodele Durowaiye, in his keynote address, said they have “observed that Tin Can and Apapa ports account for over 60% of the nation’s cargoes traffic annually, however adminted that the Tincan Island Port (TCIP) port facility has been overstretched since it was established in 1977”.
Adding that, “the reconstruction of the Tincan Island Quay Wall was top on the agenda of the infrastructural renewal efforts now. NPA who is also the landlord of the ports will not only focus on Lagos ports, would also covers all the other ports across the country”.

The event which was head at Rock view Hotel, Apapa, Lagos, had it theme: “Rehabilitation of Tin Can Island Port: Proffering Workable Solutions.
High point of event was the inauguration of the newly elected executives of MARAN which would carry out activities of the association for the next three years.

Executive Secretary, of the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC), Hon. Emmanuel Jime, who administering the oath of office to the 9-man newly elected MARAN exco led by Mr Godfrey Bivbere as President and Mr Gboyega Oni as Vice President commended the association for innovation of the break fast meeting.

Other members of the Executive include: Babajide Okeowo, General Secretary; Pearl Ngwama, Assistant Secretary; Collins Abbah, Financial Secretary; Joy Mmereole, Treasurer; Sandra Chukwunyere, Public Relations Officer/Internal Auditor; whereas Dapo Olawumi and Joy Enamuna are ex-officio members of the new Executive.

Earlier in his welcome address, the President, of MARAN, Mr. Godfrey Bivbere while stressing the consequences of dilapidated ports facilities across the nations ports said” is bound federal government will continue to record revenue lost if urgent attention is paid”.

While the Chairman of the occasion, who is a seasoned Head of Research, Sea Empowerment Research Centre, Dr. Eugene Nweke stressed that the current state of the nation’s port should necessitate an urgent declaration of state of emergency with collapsed quay aprons and other flaws at seaports.

Still at the event, the President-General of Maritime Workers’ Union of Nigeria (MWUN), Prince Adewale Adeyanju would withdrawing its services from Tin Can Island Port due to the deplorable port infrastructure, if action is not taking as soon as possible.

A shipping gladiator, former Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Barr. Temisan Omatseye in his good will message advice ports stakeholders on various options. He said “utilizating of river ports and barge operations will significantly reduce the traffic and pressure at Lagos ports”.

According to Omatseye, an erroneous perception of insecurity at Eastern ports make Nigerian shippers prefer Lagos ports; while threats of War Risk Insurance Premiums also makes shipping lines dread Eastern ports”.
Starting that corroborating Omatseye’s views on barging as alternative for cargo evacuation

In the same vain the President of Barge Operations Association of Nigeria (BOAN), Hon. Olubunmi Olumekun appealed to federal government to re-visit issue of the N50million bank guarantee for licensing barge operators poses a huge challenge.

Other notable maritime dignitaries who attended the Breakfast Meeting/Inauguration Ceremony of New MARAN Executive are the Former Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Barr Temisan Omatseye; the President-General, Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), Com Prince Adewale Adeyunju; the President of Barge Operators Association of Nigeria, Mr Olubunmi

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