Heads of maritime agencies in the Country have agreed to work on modalities for the quick commencement of 24 hours operation at the ports.
The Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, disclosed this in Lagos while briefing the media after the second edition of the monthly meeting of heads of maritime parastatals, held at the NIMASA headquarters.
Dr. Jamoh said the meeting discussed issues bordering on maritime safety and security, port efficiency, intermodal transportation, as well as synergy among agencies in the sector.
He said the forum of CEOs of the agencies had given the Maritime industry a platform to grow and contribute more to Nigeria’s economic development.
According to him, “This meeting is the second in the series and it has started yielding positive fruits. For instance, the issue of berthing the NIMASA floating dock, which has lingered for a couple of years, has been resolved through this meeting and very soon it would be deployed for use.”
The NIMASA DG stated that the heads of agencies agreed to play their respective roles to facilitate the operation of 24 hours hours a day, seven days a week port services.
He noted that this would help to decongest the ports and tremendously impact on the Ease of Doing Business initiative of the Federal Government.
Dr Jamoh announced that the meeting constituted a committee to produce a work plan for the 24-hour port system, and agreed to carry communities around the port environments along in order to ensure safe operations within the vicinities and beyond.
The Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, Hadiza Bala Usman, stated that the heads of maritime agencies have agreed to work with the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) to facilitate movement of cargo from the ports by rail
Emphasising the need for intermodal transport system in and around the port environments, the NPA Boss noted that the country must prioritise intermodal transportation to reap the benefits of shipping and port activities.
Her counterpart at the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), Dr. George Moghalu, said the maritime agencies had agreed to work together to rid the Nigerian waters of unsafe craft and practices that endanger passengers and other users of the waterways.
Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers’ Council, Mr. Hassan Bello, said the new synergy among the heads of maritime agencies was a significant building block for efficient economic activities within the country’s maritime domain which would boost the ultimate aim of making Nigeria a maritime hub in Africa through efficient and effective maritime operations and infrastructure.
The monthly meeting, was also attended by the head of the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarders in Nigeria, and Rector, Maritime Academy of Nigeria.