We are building synergy — NPA boss
We have already scored first quick wins — NIMASA DG
Port automation is endorsed —Shippers Council CEO
By Godfrey Bivbere
A NEW maritime industry architecture appears to be underway as regulatory authorities begin to draw up inter-agency strategy to address key development issues in the sector.
This emerged, yesterday, following the first of its kind meeting of chief executives of the regulatory agencies hosted by the Nigerian Shippers Council, NSC, in Lagos.
Briefing newsmen on the outcome of the meeting, Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, stated that one of the quick wins already recorded in the new direction is the harmonisation of the overlap in the functions of NIMASA, Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, and the National Inland Waterways Authority, NIWA, in wreck management and removal in Nigeria’s waters as contained in their various acts.
He said, ‘‘the meeting resulted in an agreement on the way forward, a feat that had been difficult to achieve by a committee set up for the purpose about two years ago.”
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Also the Chief Executive of the NSC, Hassan Bello, hinted that the new architecture is set to execute the automation of port operations, stressing that the goal is to achieve 98 per cent automation by the first quarter of next year.
He stated that the automation agenda is aimed at ensuring that the nation’s ports are competitive while addressing the issue of cargo evacuation from the port with emphasis on the multi-modal transportation infrastructure instead of focusing wholly on road transport as it is presently.
Managing Director of NPA, Hadiza Bala Usman, said that the industry regulators have agreed to meet every month for the next four months after which future meetings will be quarterly.
According to her, the meeting is aimed at building synergy between agencies in the maritime industry.
She stated: ‘‘We have decided to hold monthly meetings between the maritime agencies. We intend to have these meetings monthly in the next four months and then quarterly after that.
‘‘We noted that we need to have improved synergy in our operations and we have various areas of overlapping operations that we feel that it is the CEOs that will be able to put heads together to address those overlaps.
“We have several initiatives that all agencies have and those initiatives need to be shared amongst ourselves for there to be improved operational opportunities within the maritime industry.”
She said the move will make supervision ease for the supervising ministry.