FOLLOWING the querry to the management of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) by the immediate past Minister of Transport, Alhaji Ibrahim Bio, of the need for the Authority to have a development plan, the authority has revealed that it has put in place a 25 year port development plan for effective utilization of resources and efficient service delivery in the port sector.
This was disclosed in Chicago by the Managing Director NPA, Mallam Abdul Salam Mohammed at the recently concluded First USA_NIGERIAN trade and investment framework agreement TIFA business forum held in the three cities of Atlanta, Houston and Chicago in United states of America (USA).
The NPA boss who was represented at the function by the General Manager Eastern Ports, Mr Sotonye Etomi, encouraged investors to position themselves to take advantage of the emerging opportunities in the nationâ€™s port development.
A press statement signed by Musa Iliya, Asst. General Manager, Public Affairs, noted that the Managing Director said four companies have been pre-qualified for the development of the master plan whileÂ the consultant Inros lackner have submitted its recommendation for consideration.
On the issue of security at Nigerian Ports, he said that it was guaranteed as the channels are secured and measures have been put in place to ensure that all Nigerian ports are ISPS compliant.
He pointed out that plans have been put in place to connect all the nationâ€™s ports by rail, noting further that rehabilitation and building of existing and new rail lines are being undertaken.
The NPA boss stressed that opportunities still exist in these areas.According to him, â€œEverything you need in other sectors is invested in the ports that was why the pre-reform challenges were addressedâ€ he remarked.
Minister of Commerce and industry, Senator Jubril Martins Kuye in his address said that the essence of the forum was to sensitize investors of the opportunities that are numerous in the Nigerian economy.
According to him, the Federal Government of Nigeria has taken specific measures through the reforms to address the challenges of doing business in Nigeria.
The Nigerian Ambassador to the United States of America in his address presented by an embassy official Mrs Laraba Bhutto said that investments in Nigeria by the economic reforms have become more rewarding due to its emerged market and private sector driven nature.
According to her, investors should look beyond the oil and gas sector and complement the efforts of Federal Government of Nigeria in diversifying the economy and that such forum as this are efforts to encourage the flow of united states investment into these areas.
In her presentation, the Director of commercial service in the US department of commerce Julie Carducci commended the organisers and said that the forum has further strengthened the platform for Nigerian companies and agencies to develop relationships with US exporters and investors.