The managing director of Nigeria Port Authority (NPA) , Hadiza Bala Usman, has said that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari was determined to bequeath a maritime industry every Nigerians would be proud of.
This was disclosed over the weekend at the presentation of the book, Footprints of President Muhammadu Buhari in the Maritime Sector, which was written by the Shipping Correspondents Association of Nigeria (SCAN).
Speaking during a public presentation of the book, Usman, who was represented by the director of marine and operations, Dr Davies Sekonte, said the success of the Buhari administration was evident to all.
According to her , “ The maritime sector is a major contributor to the economy, the maritime sector is a competitive one with yet untapped potentials to do more.
“Singapore port contributes about 27 per cent to their economy and this administration as well has made giant strides in ensuring that the Nigeria maritime sector remains a competitive one in all spheres.
“This is evident in every aspects of the maritime sector. The recent commissioning of Apapa Wharf road spearheaded by NPA with commitment of N1.8 billion spent just to enhance connectivity at the port.
“Also the Nigerian Maritime Administration and safety Agency (NIMASA), has invested heavily in the satellite system and as well secured surveillance boats for protection of vessels on our waterways.
“This present government also set an ambitious target to boost rail transportation in all the zones of the country such as the construction of the Kano-Kaduna segment.The two ends would be joined to ensure that there would be standard gauge railway across the main north-south trading route by the end of 2021.”
She added that this present administration was determined to change the maritime sector positively.
Speaking also at the event, the chairman, Board of Trustees of SCAN, Mr Bolaji Akinola, gave credence to the present administration for the giant strides attained.
According to him “For one, the present administration must be given credit for bringing decorum and instilling discipline in the sector, as well as plugging revenue loopholes.
“It is on record that the Nigerian Ports Authority, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Nigerian Shippers’ Council and some other agencies in the sector now record little or no leakages in their systems, unlike the norms of the past.
“It is also on record that the huge infrastructural deficit facing the sector is being committedly and honestly addressed by the present government.
“The lack of scanners in our ports, severely dilapidated port access roads, lack of rail evacuation of cargo from the port as well as dysfunctional inland container depots, from our perspectives are issues the present government has decided to tackle headlong.
“This book has therefore been put together to acknowledge the commitment of the government to the betterment of the maritime industry and to serve as a source/reference document for future generations,” he said.
Other key stakeholders present at the luncheon include, Mr Rafiu Ladipo, president general of Nigerian Football and other sports supporters club, Comptroller Samuel Arowojobe, Deputy Comptroller of Customs Federal Operations Unit, FOU Zone “A” , the director-general, Nigerian Chambers of Shipping, Dr Mrs Obiageli Oby, among many others.