By Ifeyinwa Obi
Insinuations that the eastern ports may be totally lacking in essential equipment, including tug boats may be actually untrue, as the management of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) said weekend itÂ has eight tug boats in the eastern ports, out of which six were fully operational.
The NPA Executive Director, Marine and Operations, Ms. Aina Egharevba who disclosed this weekend, however, noted that the eight tug boats presently servicing the Eastern Ports were insufficient for ports needs of the area.
â€œPresently we have four tug boats in Warri, two in Calabar out of which one was commissioned recently and the other is undergoing maintenance. We also have two tugs boats in Port Harcourt, one of which is equally undergoing maintenanceâ€, she highlighted.
She added that both issues of procurement or rehabilitation of equipment like tug boats were expensive.
Lauding the lawmakers for passing the budget mid last month, the Executive Director, Marine and Operations said, with the budget, the authority would now have the financial muscles to procure the required equipment, and thus eliminated whatever lapses might have been observed in the recent past.
She posited that the present numbers of tug boats were definitely not enough, andÂ it was for this reason that management was doing everything possible to ensure that those undergoing maintenance were quickly put in order, and urgently put back to service, even as efforts were being fine tuned to acquire more of such vital equipment.
She described as collective efforts, the result of whatever success was being observed in the eastern ports administrative machinery, and praised the determination of both staff and management to sustain productivity, despite constraints.
She enjoined the stakeholders to appreciate the constraints before the authority, pointing out that measures were being taken to right all perceived lapses.
â€œI expect stakeholders to appreciate our constraints. You know when our budget was approved this year. And you know that all our procurements were capital intensive; and besides, we had to ensure we strictly follow the dictates of the procurement act,â€ Egharevba explained further.