By Prisca Sam-Duru
Managing Director of the Nigeria Ports Authority, NPA, Mohammed Bello Koko, yesterday, disclosed that under his leadership as MD of the Ports, over N45 billion have been remitted to the federal government.
Bello Koko who made the disclosure while speaking on his achievements within 100 days in office, on Arise TV programme, hinted that “In the last 100 days, what we have done is to improve stakeholder engagement. The first thing we did was to sit down and look at what we can do quickly to improve efficiency in the port and other activities in the maritime sector”.
According to him, “We had first of all come out with reform initiatives. These initiatives are geared towards improving efficiency and growth in the maritime industry especially in the Nigeria Ports Authority. We ensured that cost was reduced as much as possible; administrative costs were reduced.
We worked towards improving revenue and because of that, we also have been able to transfer over 45billion in the last four months to the consolidated revenue fund. And out of this 45billion, about N26bilion happens to be in the year 2022. We also ensured we improved debt recovery. We had realised that there was need for us to ensure that we are paid properly and on time for every service that we offered and so, we improved our debt recovery efforts and that actually helped in ensuring that we transferred more to the consolidated revenue fund”.
In addition, he disclosed efforts towards improving staff welfare, noting that “We had also paid more attention to staff welfare and training. We had commissioned a training school in our dockyard. The training school has the capacity to train about 380 persons at any given time. It’s equipped with modern teaching facilities and, has accommodation for over 30 persons at a time, canteen, kitchen, gym, etc”.
“We are going into partnership with training institutes that are supposed to provide proper training that would help our people to achieve the mandate of the Nigerian Ports Authority.
“In terms of staff welfare, we are renovating virtually all the dilapidated administrative blocks. The one in Delta Ports and Tincan have commenced”, he added.
He further revealed that a lot has been done to make sure that the “Eastern Ports come back to life”, adding that, “The first thing we did was to get a FEC approval for remedial dredging of Warri Port. The remedial dredging is about 80% concluded currently and we started the mapping and surveying of the channel in Delta Port also. That has not been done for probably over a decade”.
Also he stated that since assuming office, it was discovered that there was “need for Nigerian Ports Authority to work with the federal government in encouraging and expanding the non oil sector and export.
For that we have licensed about ten export processing terminals which are located within Lagos, Ogun and Ondo States. This is aimed at reducing waiting time, in terms of processing of exports out of the country”.