The Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala-Usman has stated that the federal government is committed to ensuring that the nation's ports are efficient as doing so will ensure economic growth and industrilisation.
She stressed the readiness of the NPA management at investing resources in the areas of capacity building and an efficient port system towards the growth of the nation's economy and global industrialisation.
Bala-Usman made this remark during the NPA's Special Day at the recent 2017 International Trade Fair organised by the Lagos Chambers of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) at the Tafawa Balewa Square Lagos with the theme, "Promoting Industrialisation For Economic Recovery And Sustainable Growth."
According to her, developing nations of the world have come to the realisation that Industrialisation is a channel through which a nation's economic recovery short and long term is dependent upon.
To this end, she added that all hand must be on deck towards finding a long lasting solution to the perennial problems facing the nation in the area of starvation, diseases and unemployment amongst others.
According to the NPA boss, who was represented by the General Manager Corporate and Strategic Communications, Abdullahi Goje, the NPA is assiduously working towards making our seaports a safe havenfor Investors within the sub-Sahara Africa by providing a conducive environment for all in line with International best practices.
In her words: "There is currently an Executive Order on 24 hour port operations and the authority has placed all the necessary mechanisms to ensure the realisation of the order."
Bala-Usman promised to work with professionals in the maritime sector and make the ports attractive to business and boost the Nigerian economy in the process.
The NPA boss said she was more determined to close the gaps between the agency and the professionals by engaging them in most of its activities to promote port business.
The NPA, she said, will find solution to the issue of gridlock in Apapa and fix the access road to boost port operations
She expressed concern over other challenges facing the ports and assured of her determination to find a lasting solution to the problems.
In her welcome address, the President of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Dr. Nike Akande lauded the contributions of the port industry to the growth and development of the nation's economy, and called on the relevant government agencies to ensure an enabling environment for an efficient Port system.
She noted further, "The ports are critical to the economic life of this country and this makes it imperative that agencies managing the nation's ports and maritime infrastructure must continually work towards a better regulatory and operational environment that guarantees ports efficiency across the country. The issues around port operations are well known by the agencies concerned with port management in Nigeria and we acknowledge the efforts of government towards improving the efficiency of the ports."
In his speech the Chairman, Trade Promotion of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce, Mrs. Sola Oyetayo charged all Stakeholders to ensure a total rejuvenation in their policies in the area of 24 hour port operations in the ports, 48 hours cargo clearance at the ports including improvement of traffic within the access roads amongst others.
She commended the NPA boss for her passion towards the participation of NPA at the fair and that NPA participation has been adding value to trade promotion over the years.
Exhibitors at the 10 day event were drawn from Local and International companies from China, Egypt, Japan, Ghana, India, European Union, Indonesia, Pakistan as well as local and medium scale entrepreneurs.
Highlight of the occasion was the presentation of plaque of recognition to the managing director of NPA for her contributions to the development of Nigeria economy in the Maritime sector.