NPA MD vows to recover debts from shipping companies, govt agencies

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The Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Ms Hadiza Usman, has said that the authority would set a time lag for shipping companies and other agencies indebted to the organisation to make payments.
Usman made this known during a tour of Eastern ports on Wednesday in Port Harcourt.
She said that NPA management would need to look at critical areas to improve the organisation’s revenue by plugging revenue leakages.
“We need to focus on areas where we can increase revenue and where we can plug revenue leakages as sources of our projects are tied to revenue generation.
“We are keen in ensuring that that we do not have any wastages in our operations,’’ Usman said.
The managing director said that the management would set machinery in motion to tackle challenges facing the Easter ports.
Usman said that the management would consider some of the capital projects being proposed in the 2017 budget.
“We need to provide the general public our tariff regime so that operators would have very clear information about what tariff regime obtains.
“ Some port developments are required to be done by concessionaires. We are working on the review of port concession and looking at agreements in some areas that had been contentious,’’ Usman said.
She said that there should be full compliance with the concession agreement by all parties involved, including the NPA.
Usman also said that the management would soon embark on personnel audit and “tie our appraisal to staff performance so that every officer would adhere to his or her job schedule’’.
She also observed that there were limited females in the service of the organisation in the Eastern ports, and stressed the need to promote gender balance in staffing.
The managing director said that the management would look at the conditions of service in view of complaints about salaries.
She said: “If revenue is declining, it will be difficult to convince the Federal Government to increase salaries of NPA workers.
“In a situation where we have increase in revenue, we can justify the need to review salaries.’’
Earlier, the General Manager, Eastern Ports, Mr Abdullahi Goje, noted that the Eastern Ports comprised Rivers Port, Onne Port Complex, Calabar Port and Delta Ports.
Goje suggested rehabilitation of the Eastern Ports Headquarters as captured in the 2017 Budget.
He also urged rebuilding of Berths 5, 6, 7 as well as the collapsed Berth 8 under BUA Terminal, Rivers Port.
The general manager called for reconstruction of the Abonema Marine Police Jetty in Port Harcourt, adding that there should be immediate perimeter fencing and rehabilitation of the Bonny Radio and signal.
Goje suggested capital and maintenance dredging of the three pilotage districts and provision of adequate security around the ports.
He also urged provision of security boats to safeguard lives and property.
“The oil terminal dues removed from the Eastern ports headquarters should be looked into to effectively monitor such operations locally.
`He also called for regular and reconciliation exercises at ports and zonal levels with terminal operators, shipping companies and Federal Government agencies such as National Inland Waterways Authority and Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency.
“There is the need for synergy between NPA and other sister agencies especially under the Federal Ministry of Transportation,’’ the general manager said.
He said that NPA should be able to take full control of monitoring of private jetties in terms of operations by installing more flow meters before issuing licences.
Goje called for more tug boats, pilot cutters, mooring launchers and replacement of missing channel bouys.
“We should make our technical operational status well established in terms of safe anchorage area which would be formally declared by the minister of transportation so that we can capture the movement of vessels,’’ he said.
The general manager also stressed the need for corporate social responsibility.
On way forward, he suggested procurement of more harbor crafts, greater security on the waterways, rehabilitation and sustained maintenance of port infrastructure.
He also urged improved inter-modalism, improved utilisation of the Eastern ports and exploration of new cargo line to increase cargo throughput through agricultural commodities and solid minerals.
The NPA managing director visited BUA Terminals Ltd., Ports and Terminals Operations (Nigeria) Ltd., Dockyard and Bonny Channel Company (BCC).

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