By Godwin Oritse
Members of the newly reconstituted Nigerian Port Authority (NPA) Pilotage Districts Board have recommended certification for marine pilots to reflect the present dynamics of the industry.
The members also called for an urgent review of relevant sections of pilotage law as contained in the Ports Act of 1999, with a view to minimizing marine accidents.
This was contained in a communiqué issued at the end of their retreat in Abuja last week as members also resolved that the “NPA Marine Pilots Training Manual” be reviewed to ensure the proper and effective capacity for the Authority’s trainee pilots.
Part of the resolutions includes integration of evaluation and appraisal of pilots in the Authority’s human resources process.
They also called for the clearance of the backlog of promotion of pilots so that they can measure up with their peers in other departments.
The Board called for the provision of adequate marine craft to other pilotage districts outside Lagos, to make them function optimally and further enhance safety of navigation and operational efficiency.
They recommended engagement of Escravos pilot to provide services in some segments of Delta port channel, the importance of the certification of pilots and regulating their services in order to ensure safety in the nation’s maritime domain cannot be overemphasized.
The Board also commended the Management of NPA for responding to the enforcement of Electronic Chart Display Information System (ECDIS) which will facilitate the training and equipment of the pilot.
The Executive Director, Marine and Operations, Dr. Sokonte Davies, assured members of the Board that NPA will give maximum support to it so as to enhance the success of pilotage activities in all the districts.
Dr. Sokonte called on the members to bring their wealth of experience and professional competence to bear on Port operations with a view to moving the Nigerian maritime industry forward.