By Godfrey Bivbere
Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Engr. Omar Suleiman has stressed that the contibution of the nation’s seaport to the economy can not be over-emphasisied.
Suleiman noted that as a result, any economic policy in the country which does not take appropriate congnisance of its vital role is incomplete.
Spokesman of the NPA, Chief Micheal Ajayi, in a press statement made availbale to Vanguard, pointed out that the NPA boss disclosed this in Lagos recently at a send forth and reception programme in honour of the former Managing Director of NPA, Malam Abdul Salam Mohammed. The reception was put togather by the management of Bonny Channel Company (BCC) for the former NPA boss who was its immediate past board chairman.
As a result of the partnership between NPA and BCC, NPA’s helmsman becomes the chairman of the board of the company. The reception was in honour of both the former and the presnt Manging Directors of the Authority. Speaking further on the place of the ports on the economy of the nation, Suleiman pointed out that the country may not be able to achieve rapid infrastructural development and the desired Gross Domestic Product (GDP) unless the NPA is given more roles in the development strides of the nation.
According to Ajayi, the NPA helmsman regretted that in the past the functions of the Authority in facilitation of trade and movement of goods across the country were threatened because of the seeming neglect of the authority. He enthused that the Ports are strategic to the success of the transformation agenda of government to which his management is wholly and irrevocably committed in ensuring the realization of the dream of Mr. President.
He therefore advocated that government’s future economic and infrastructural policies should encourage the development of the nation’s seaports, considering their roles as the gateway to the nation’s economy.
He said that with the present concession regime, the NPA has appreciated the enormous tasks confronting it in order to cope with the challenges of its new role and the expectations of the stakeholders, the port users and the general public.
Engr. Suleiman reiterated that the Authority was currently involved in encouraging Deep Sea Ports development in strategic parts of the country, considering the tremendous potentials such projects would have on the nation’s economy, adding that the Organisation was determined to make a success of the projects when they come on stream.