By DAPO OLAWUNI
As part of its plans to ensure that the Eastern Ports become more viable, thereby decongesting the Lagos ports, the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has said that it is set to receive the first ever, Roll On Roll Off (RoRo) vessel, bringing in imported vehicles at the Rivers Port, Port Harcourt.
Before now, importation of vehicles was monopolized by terminals in Lagos, but the NPA had insisted that Eastern ports must experience an increase in vessel traffic.
According to a statement signed by Eng Adams Jatto, General Manager Corporate and Strategic Communications of NPA, the first Roro Vessels, to berth in the history of the Rivers Port is scheduled to depart the United States of America in the middle of March and arrive Port Harcourt at the end of March or early April.
“This is a milestone in the history of Rivers Port and the whole of the Eastern Ports. The introduction of RORO operations will in no small measure increase the revenue base of Rivers Port in particular and NPA as a whole”
“The achievement is traceable to intentional commitment and landmark reforms that the current management of the NPA has instituted toward ensuring that all ports in Nigeria become optimally functional”
“Steps taken by the Authority include: the introduction of ten Percent (10%) discount on harbour dues on some categories of cargoes berthing at the eastern ports, the dredging of Escravos Channel in Warri”
“The deployment of equipment and machinery to improve operational efficiency, constant engagement with stakeholders towards achieving industrial harmony and peaceful co-existence, conversations with shipping companies, which saw the deployment of flat bottom vessels to Calabar, working with the Nigerian Navy, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA and the Port Police Command to combat crimes on the nation’s waterways, as well as engaging with the Federal Ministry of Works to ensure the rehabilitation of roads access to and from ports in the region”
“The management assures her commitment to ensuring that all ports in Nigeria operate at maximum capacity to the advantage of all Nigerians”