Acting Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Muhammed Bello koko has said that the agency is reducing ship waiting time at Nigerian ports with its newly rehabilitated Control Tower located at the Lagos Ports Complex LPC, Apapa.
Bello-Koko also assured that NPA is deploying more marine equipment like pilot cutters and security patrol boats at various port locations in order to improve port efficiency and security around the ports
Bello Koko made this assertion while on a facility tour of the newly rehabilitated Control Tower in Apapa.
According to him, it has become expedient for port facilities to be upgraded so as to impact positively on port operational efficiency. He added that effective communication is an important variable for efficient performance of the seaports.
“We aspire to be competitors in the sub region. One of the ways to achieve this is by ensuring our facilities such as the Control Towers are up to date and upgraded to work with modern communication and radar systems. This would improve communication, reduce ship waiting time and further reduce the cost of doing business at our ports , the MD said.
On the welfare of the pilots, he said the NPA places premium on the comfort of this very valued category of staff of the Authority . We are committed to the welfare of the pilots, pointing out that matters concerning the pilots’ accommodation, medical care and recreational facilities at the rehabilitated 9 storey Control Towers are world- class with the provision of facilities such as sleeping quarters, gym, canteens, kitchens and meeting/ conference rooms for the pilots and other harbours staff.
In conformity with the above, a second control tower at Tincan is also being upgraded to provide communication with ships using the VHF frequency.
The rehabilitated control towers will also have updated radar and communication equipment that will enable communication between the ports in lagos and Lekki deep sea port and Dangote refinery jetty.
“We will ensure that we engage you for optimal performance”, he stressed.
In a related development, Mohammed Bello Koko has allayed the fear of stakeholders over insinuations that the activities of hoodlums at the Tin Can Island Port may negatively affect the progress already recorded by the truck electronic call-up system ‘Eto’ in terms of tackling the perennial gridlock at the ports in Lagos area.
The Managing Director, who visited the affected site where vandals attempted destroying ‘Eto’ infrastructure but were promptly apprehended by vigilant NPA security operatives, assured that rehabilitation work has already commenced.
He pointed out that the incident has not in any way affected operations. He appreciated stakeholders’ support, especially the Lagos State Government for the collaboration at enforcing Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in the use of Eto which has remained a continuum.
Bello Koko used the opportunity of the visit to declare zero tolerance to vandalism at the nation’s seaports and called on all and sundry to partner the Authority in the auspicious task of hoisting the nation’s flag amongst the comity of nations with efficient ports in the the world.