The new Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Ms Hadiza Usman, has said that the new management will strive for enhanced operational efficiency for improved revenue generation and inflows into national treasury.
Usman stated this at the handover ceremony between her and the former Managing Director of NPA, Malam Habib Abdullahi, on Monday in Lagos.
According to her, our ports are the critical arteries of the economy and it is our duty to ensure that the operators deliver ports services in line with the standards deserved in the 21st century.
She said that the new management would support President Muhammadu Buhari’s agenda of economic diversity.
“We will listen to our customers, importers and exporters and other agencies working in the ports to improve on our service delivery to the nation.
“Anything less than the world class services is simply not acceptable. Attaining such height is the mission to which we can all subscribe to.
“As a team leader, i have come to add my best efforts to yours so that we can collectively achieve result for our industry.
“We must work as a team, pursuing common goals with professionalism and diligence,’’ the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) quotes Usman as saying.
She added that the new management would prioritise investments in primary equipment and infrastructure and services with commitment to fulfilling NPA’s concession agreement to hasten clearance of imports and exports from the ports.
She noted that collectively, the hard work of staffs could position NPA as a modern agency.
“To function as regulator, all of us at NPA must be committed to the highest standards of performance. Let us uphold the most diligent work ethics in our individual beats as well as collective undertaking to achieve result.
“Everyone at the NPA has a role in promoting best practices in upholding good governance, standards and delivering quality services.
“We would jointly work hard with integrity and zero-tolerance for corruption.
As the new management settles, we would be listening to your concerns and suggestions as we navigate the best options for effectively discharging the NPA’s mandate.
“I hope and I believe we would jointly work together as one family to achieve our mandate,’’ NAN quotes Usman as saying.
In his speech, Abdullahi said that since July 2012, when the management came on board, it recorded modest achievements.
He said that NPA under his leadership was able to achieve automation of operational processes, infrastructural development, Greenfield and Brown field developments and building a strong port community system.
Abdullahi explained that the outgoing management also built strong human resources through training and re-training.
In five years’ time, more than 50 per cent of the top managers will be out and presently they are on the average 55 years old. These are from senior managers to general managers and this is quite challenging.
He urged the new management to come up with succession scheme to ensure that the younger ones take over “because you are going to miss the experience of the older ones’’.
Abdullahi said that his administration was proud of putting in place the Command, Control and Intelligence Unit, adding that the administration also installed the e-payment system.
He added that his administration automated the payment systems to create room for transparency.
“We also automated the Ship Entry Notice to create room for transparency,’’ NAN quotes him as saying.
The former managing director said that his administration integrated NPA’s operations with other stakeholders like the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to serve a s platform to block all revenue leakages.
“We also dredged and maintained the water channels for smooth navigation. The deeper the channels, the bigger the vessels that will come in.
“Nearly 60 per cent of our revenue goes into dredging and we tries as much as possible to buy tug boats,’’ NAN quotes Abdullahi as saying.
He said that there had been improved port operations and cargo throughput As well as deepening of the port channels.
Abdullahi said that “Nigeria is the only port in West Africa receiving big WAFMAX vessels.’’
According to him, we have improved wreck removal operations as well as human and vehicular traffic and we made available 24-hour operations at the ports.
He said that his administration moved toward encouraging non-oil exports to see how Nigeria could explore the possibilities of exports.
Abdullahi recalled that NPA management sent a letter to the Ministry of Solid Minerals to explore the possibility of exporting solid minerals.
“Over 80 per cent of containers that leave this country leave empty.
“NPA is partnering with the Nigerian Export Promotion Council to ensure the containers does not leave empty.
“With the new set of management, I am sure you will come up with fresh ideas that will move the industry further,’’ he said.