YEAR 2024: Barge Operators Tasks Minister Oyotola, Bello-Koko to be Alive to their Responsibilities in Maritime Sector

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Hon Olubunmi Olumekun

By DAPO OLAWUNI

Even as the world welcomes in, a new year 2024, the Barge Operators Association of Nigeria (BOAN) has tasked the Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola as well as Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Mohammed Bello-Koko to live up to their responsibilities and solve myriads of operational challenges bedevilling the sector.

President of BOAN, Hon. Olubunmi Olumekun, stated this in his new year message.

“For us to discharge and perform our operations effectively in 2024, we are calling on the Managing Director of NPA, Mohammed Bello Koko, and the Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola, to kindly address all our challenges” he stated

Olumekun also wished all Nigerians and all port stakeholders – Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Nigerian Shippers’ Council, Nigeria Customs Service, members of Seaport Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria (STOAN), Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria and others, a happy New Year 2024.

He said the year 2023 was a watershed in the growth of port (maritime) industry in Nigeria.

According to him, it was a year that the Federal Government under the dynamic President, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu GCFR, created the Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy for the industry, to harness its economic potentials in full for the overall growth of the nation.

“As barge Operators, we again commend President Bola Ahmed Tinubu GCFR for creating the ministry and for appointing His Excellency Adegboyega Oyetola, as the pioneer Minister. We have an abiding belief in the capacity of the Minister to achieve the goals and objectives of the Ministry

“Barging, as a critical component of the blue economy, in the outgone year 2023, contributed phenomenally to the development and growth of the industry. It is a subsector that its input – movement of cargo in and out of the port – can’t be underestimated.

“We faced a lot of operational challenges in 2023, and as we speak, all these challenges, known to the NPA, are yet to be resolved by the concerned authorities as they are hindering our successes.

“Our subsector is capable of generating revenue running into several billions of Naira and multiple job opportunities; it deserves adequate attention of the NPA and the Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy.

“On our part, we are ready to collaborate with all identified key port stakeholders in 2024 to grow the industry.

“Again, we wish everyone a happy and prosperous year 2024” he concluded

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