The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has commended the federal government's efforts at tackling maritime insecurity. OPEC also commended Nigeria for accepting to host the upcoming Global Maritime Security Conference, saying the talks will go a long way in addressing security concerns in the maritime domain of the entire Gulf of Guinea. Secretary-General of OPEC Mohammed Sanusi Barkindo, gave the commendation in a statement to the organising committee of the conference.
This is just as the Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside has confirmed the participation of over 70 countries at the conference scheduled to be held in Abuja.
Barkindo, noted that the Gulf of Guinea was strategic to the stability of oil production globally.
He said the area was a major shipping route and any infraction there would be felt beyond the region.
"The strategic importance of the Gulf of Guinea is undisputed and any disruption in the area has a direct negative impact on our industry and, indeed, is of global concern.
"This conference is timely in bringing together the relevant and critical stakeholders to allow them to discuss in a constructive manner what concerted action could be undertaken to ensure the sustainable use and long term security of this important and strategic body of ocean, "Barkindo said.
He noted that the conference would create renewed confidence in investment in the oil and gas sector in the Gulf of Guinea, with a multiplier effect of addressing the challenges associated with the sector globally.
Meanwhile, Peterside said the conference would provide a platform for stakeholders of all shades to brainstorm and collectively find solutions to the challenge of maritime insecurity in the Gulf of Guinea and assured participants of a successful event in Nigeria.
"We shall have a no-holds-barred discussion on security in the Gulf of Guinea at the conference, which promises to be a watershed event in the history of maritime security in Africa and, indeed, the world, " Peterside stated.
NPA Reviews Condition of Service for Workers
The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has announced that it has addressed previous anomalies in promotion exercises and implemented a review of workers' condition of service.
Also, the agency has restated its commitment to workers' welfare, especially their remuneration and healthcare, even as the authority recently honoured some staff members who have served for 25 years.
Speaking at the authority's Long Service Award held in Lagos, Managing Director of NPA, Hadiza Bala-Usman assured stakeholders that NPA places so much premium on its workforce, adding that the award came from her determination to register the premium that NPA places on the contributions of members of staff to the development of the Authority at all ports.
She added that without the workforce, the sustainability of the reforms NPA had undertaken so far, as well the audacious goals it is poised to achieve as enunciated in the 25-year Port Development Plan would remain unattainable.
She noted that her administration is very ambitious, and determined not to leave the NPA where it met it.
She said: "This management of the NPA is committed to not just changing the ways things are done momentarily but in bequeathing a tradition of transparent and excellent service that would make our ports the hub in the sub-region. We understand that the workforce is an integral part of whatever good stories we would be able to achieve and tell about our initiatives, hence the determination to periodically show appreciation for the dedication of staff."
She added: "Tonight therefore, we are gathered here to honour our long - serving and dedicated employees of 25 years upwards and at the same time celebrate those who have demonstrated excellence by achieving uncommon feats in the course of duty.
"But beyond these regular recognitions of serving and retiring staff members, management considers putting a well-motivated workforce with the requisite character, competence, and capacity to optimize our rich maritime endowments in place, as part of the dreams of building a new and culture in the Authority."
The NPA boss revealed that as part of her commitment to workers' welfare, management recently carried out a thorough review of condition of service with robust provisions aimed at equipping employees to be best-in-class in the Industry.
She said the authority had also worked towards correcting all the previous anomalies in the salary structure as she is ensuring justice in the career progression of personnel.
She said: "We are taking the totality of the wellbeing of personnel seriously. As we consider the need to train and retrain towards building capacity to cope with the dynamism of our industry, we have been also paying attention to the health and mental needs of our staff. The goal is to be a competent and committed workforce our collective interests."