Dredging study: NPA to engage international consultant

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The management of the Nigerian Ports Authority has almost completed the process of engaging an international consultancy company to carry out an appropriate optimisation study, which will serve as a benchmark for all future dredging operations towards having better navigable channels.

The Managing Director, NPA, Hadiza Usman, who stated this in Abuja, also promised to support efforts to get quick approval from the Federal Executive Council for the development of the framework for the national single window, owing to it importance in the maritime industry.

Usman stated that she would build on the existing synergy between the organisation and the Nigeria Customs Service so as to realise the desire to make the NPA the hub of maritime activities in the West African sub region.

She added that the ports had recently experienced a surge in the export of soya, yam and some other agricultural produce, as well as solid minerals, and that these would help improve the government’s foreign currency reserves.

Similarly, speaking on a television programme, the NPA MD said there had been improved operational efficiency since the terminal operators took over the operations of the ports, adding that with the recent reversion to 24-hours operations, the goal of Nigeria having the best ports in the sub region would soon be realised.

Usman added that Apapa Port had everything in place to ensure that the success of the 24-hour operations.

However, she said, “Freight forwarders have raised security concerns about receiving their consignments at night, we have brought this to the notice of the Port Police Command who are already working on handling the situation.

“The rehabilitation of Apapa access roads will be done in segments, and we have earmarked alternative routes during the period of the job.”

The repair of the roads is being done by the Dangote Group, Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc and the NPA.

Usman said the idea of removing every cargo out of the ports could not be effective without intermodal transport links.

She stated that a change in policy to improve government revenue and encourage efficiency, bring about a reduction in cost and encourage level playing field for investors should be encouraged at all times.

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