The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), and NNPC are to collaborate toward rehabilitating and upgrading the facilities at the Atlas Cove Jetty. Malam Abdulsalam Mohammed, NPA Managing Director, made this known in Lagos. He was conducting Mr Femi Olayisade, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transport, round the organisationâ€™â€™s facilities at the Atlas Cove Jetty and East and West moles of the Lagos Harbour.
Mohammed said NPA had made adequate provisions in its 2010 draft budget to rehabilitate the jetty built about 21 years ago.He said the organisation would engage consultants to assess the situation and come up with a new design.Â The NPA chief said a survey was conducted and it was found out that the current draught of the jetty was not consistent with its design. Mohammed said NPA had so far spent N8 billion out of the N16 billion meant for rehabilitation of the Lagos Harbours moles. The managing director said the project was self-funded by the organisation.
He said the rehabilitation work was the first of its kind to protect the Lagos Harbours which was constructed in 1930. Olayisade said his mission was in line with the directive from the National Security Adviser to assess the state of the Atlas Cove Jetty after 2009 attack by the militants. He called for collaboration between NPA and NNPC to avoid cases of delays in berthing fuel-laden ships.
â€œWe need to particularly cut down demurrage. We see security as one of the big problems the jetty still has,â€™â€™ Olayisade said. He said there should be more than one discharging terminal at the Atlas Cove, especially now that the nation depends on importation of petroleum products.
Olayisade, on rehabilitation of the East and West moles, commended the NPA for sourcing the funds internally. He urged the contractor, China Construction Engineering Company, to do a thoroughjob. â€œThe faith of Lagos Harbours depends on the integrity of the moles,â€™â€™ the permanent secretary said
According to him, the last construction of the moles was done a century ago, one could realise the importance of the project. â€œLagos is the most important port accounting for 60 to 80 per cent of the nationâ€™â€™s imports, so every attention is needed to complete the project,â€™â€™ he said.
The Atlas Cove Depot Manager, Mr Anthony Onwuka, represented by Mr Parker Ekpo, Jetty Maintenance Superintendent, said NPA had been living up to expectation in mooring vessels.
He said the first part of the jetty built by NPA had become dormant and advised the organisation to rehabilitate the old jetty and expand the one presently in use. â€œIf the jetty comes up, we will receive more than one product at a time and we will reduce the problem of fuel scarcity and payment of demurrage,â€™â€™ Ekpo said.