By GODFREY BIVBERE & IFEYINWA OBI
The Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA is to commence monitoring of offshore operations to ensure compliance in all operations, Port Manager of Onne port, Munir Umar, has said.
Umar who disclosed this in Houston, Texas at the just concluded Offshore Technology Conference, OTC, said that the Authority has commenced training of its personnel in preparedness of approval by the central management.
According to him, “Currently the present management of NPA is looking at investment in offshore because that is where the money is but we have to train our people and that is what we are doing now. “We train our officers on how to monitor offshore operations.”
On why NPA is just looking at offshore operations after all these years, he pointed out that “you know we have a new management which is focused on this investment.
I am not saying that previous management did not do anything but they did not do enough. The new management under Alhaji Habib, is focused on this issue and we are bent on it, we are investing on it and we are training people on it.”
Although the Port Manager said he could not say the exact number of personnel so far trained but stressed that the management is working closely with the oil companies for in house training and others are sent aboard.
“Coming here is part of the training (to OTC). We send some to Dubai, to the United Kingdom and others places,” he said.
Responding to accusations by operators that NPA seem to be favouring Intels when it comes to where oil and gas equipment can be discharged and cleared, the Port Manager said the accusation is not true.
In his words, “No, it is not so. I believe we are fair. When we were going through the concession process, they (the other companies) did not even apply for it. It is now that they realised how lucrative returns on investment is that they are looking in that direction.”
Umar said that the port handled 250,000 Twenty equivalent Unit, TEU last year. Averagely we handle about 300 containers daily but you see at the moment the Customs have a new system called Pre-Arrival Assessment Report, PAAR before they were using the Risk Assessment Report, RAR which is a little bit slow.