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NPA partners IMO to establish port community system

Mohammed Bello-Koko, Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA)

…As Bello-Koko clinches AMJON 2022 Excellent Leadership Award

The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has disclosed plans to kick start the process of establishing Port Community System (PCS) with the support of the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Transportation and the technical advisory of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO),

This came as the Managing Director of NPA; Mohammed Bello-Koko has bagged the 2022 AMJON Excellence Leadership Award for his transformational leadership at the NPA, the Nigeria Maritime Industry and the economy in general.

Speaking at the event in Lagos, organised by the Association of Maritime Journalists of Nigeria (AMJON), Bello-Koko stated that the Port Community System will bring together all stakeholders in the Nigerian port industry, thus facilitating ease of doing business in the ports.

Port Community System is an electronic platform which connects the multiple systems operated by a variety of organisations that make up a seaport, airport or inland port communities.

The Managing Director who was represented by the General Manager, Corporate and Strategic Communication, NPA, Mrs. Yemisi Oyinlola in a paper presentation titled; “Nigeria and the Evolving New Port Order,” noted that “Our role as port players is to position the port on the part of competitiveness with focus on quality port services and right pricing, adding that “This is what underpins trade facilitation ideals which would ultimately expand the frontiers of trade and foster economic growth.

“It is pertinent to note that with the backing of the government through the Federal Ministry of Transportation and the technical advisory of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), the Nigerian Ports Authority has kick-started the process of establishing Port Community System (PCS).

“The system will bring together all stakeholders in the port community and facilitate ease of doing business in the ports.”

Koko-Bello reiterated that for Nigeria to maximise the benefits of the blue economy, both downstream and upstream operations have to be fully explored pointing out that shipping business must be taken beyond mere vessel and cargo handling at the port but must include other services such as bunkering, insurance, hinterland connectivity etc.

His words: “Maritime activities made up of downstream and upstream operations. Downstream operation is principally made up of Port operation and Bunkering, while the upstream consists of Insurance, connectivity logistics and shipping activities.

“Ironically, Nigeria operates only in the port operation aspect of downstream operation. Even the port operation is not performing optimally due to a number of inherent challenges.

“Today, Nigeria has not fully utilized the opportunity offered by the upstream maritime economy. This explains why the Maritime sector has not contributed substantially to the Nigerian economy.

“In an effort to reposition the Nigerian economy particularly the maritime sector, the managers of our economy need to pay requisite attention,” Bello – Koko said.

On the initiatives by NPA to facilitate trade through the sea, the MD disclosed that the management has taken up the gauntlet and embarked on certain initiatives towards repositioning Nigerian Ports on the path of competitiveness, and rehabilitation of port access roads to improve hinterland connectivity.

He added that the electronic truck-traffic call-up system (ETO) in the Lagos Pilotage District towards addressing truck congestion along the port access road has been effective saying the Ports Authority has licensed of 37 Satellite Truck Parks (with the capacity to accommodate 7,000 trucks) to service the incoming trucks to the ports in Lagos under the ETO which became operational in July, 2021.

The Managing Director further said that the registration and licensing of 28 empty containers holding bays with a total capacity of 137,000 TEUs has come on stream to tackle traffic situations along the port corridors.

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