The Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi, has called for harmonious working relationship among members of the Board of Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the management of both agencies in order to promote security as well as economic activities in the maritime sector.
The minister, who made the call last week while inaugurating the two boards at the Federal Ministry of Transportation, Headquarters, Abuja, enjoined members of the board to realise they are not management and must find a way to work harmoniously with them.
He reiterated that, as members of board, their duty is to make policies while the management is to execute them.
Furthermore, in reference to the coronavirus pandemic, the minister said: “We are in unusual times but we can’t afford to shut our seaports. The activities must continue so that the trade can take place so that the people can feed.”
He further directed the board members to fashion out ways on how to move forward with the issues of trade facilitation and seaport management.
Responding on behalf of the members of NPA Board, the Chairman, Chief Akin Ricketts, noted that the major issue is the congestion of the ports with the Eastern ports being underutilised and the inefficiency of the Lagos ports occasioned by inadequate evacuation corridors.
He gave assurance that the board would work with all relevant stakeholders with a view to ameliorating the sufferings of port users.
In his charge to the NIMASA members of board, the minister disclosed that he was particularly interested in making sure that the Deep Blue project, which took the Federal Government about three years to approve, succeeds, as it is geared towards addressing high incidences of kidnapping at sea as well as boost the economic base of the country.
Also responding on behalf of the NIMASA Board members, the Chairman, Honourable Asita, while expressing concern over the spate of insecurities in the Nigerian maritime waterways, said the Board would work assiduously to curtail the menace, which this trend poses to the economy.
It may be recalled that the Boards, which were appointed on February 10, 2020, could not be immediately inaugurated due to the onset of the coronavirus.
The members of the NPA Board are: Chief Akin Ricketts, Chairman; Muhhamed Koko, Executive Director; Prof. Idris Abdulkadir, Executive Director; Onari Brown Executive Director; Ghazali Muhammed, member; Sen. Binta Masi Garba, member; Alh. Mustapha Aminu Dutse, member; Abdulwahab Adeshina, member.