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NPA speaks on commitment to ensuring patronage of Eastern Ports

MD NPA, Hadiza Bala Usman

Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has restated its commitment to the optimum
utilisation of the Eastern Ports in line with government’s policy on the ease
of doing business.

Director of the NPA, Hadiza Bala Usman, while hosting members of the House of
Representatives Ad-hoc committee on Ports and Habours at the Marina, Lagos head
office of the Authority, said that the NPA Management was working with all
relevant stakeholders to deal with challenges that hamper patronage of the Ports.

said that some of the issues that discourage vessel owners from patronising the
Eastern Ports include: the level of insecurity on the waterways, shallow depths,
which hinders the movement of big vessels as well as the problems of poor
access roads and rail linkages to Ports in these areas.

the issues of draught limitations, Bala Usman explain that following the approval
of the contract by the Federal Executive Council last year, dredging works have
been completed on moving the Warri channel draft to 7.5m while consultants have
been engaged to advise on level of investments needed to improve the
infrastructural capacity of the port in Port Harcourt.

noting that the Onne Ports currently function at full capacity, the Managing Director
informed the meeting that the NPA has granted all requisite approvals for the
construction of the Lekki Deep Sea Port for which development has started.

said that the Authority was awaiting response from the promoters of the Badagry
Deep Sea Port to enable conclusion on the final outline business case for the

said that the maritime industry was becoming increasingly disposed to
patronising Deep Sea Ports, which allows for big vessels and aid economies of
scales and that Nigeria would only assure its future market share in the
industry with the development of Deep Sea Ports.

security, the Managing Director explained that the NPA was purchasing patrol
boats and 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 and assured that progress is being made on this front.

Port access roads nationwide, she explained that the NPA has drawn a basket of
such roads across the country and written to the Federal Ministry of Works and
Housing on the need to prioritise the rehabilitation of these roads.

noted that the ministry has commenced implementation of this process with the
recent award of the construction of Ikom Bridge, which is a key road connecting
Cross River State to the North Eastern part of the country,  and expressed optimism that steps taken would
provide better linkages to the hinterland and attract more business to the
Eastern Ports.

of the Ad-hoc committee, Hon. Buba Yakub had earlier explained that the
committee was on a fact-finding mission on reasons the Eastern Ports were not
working as optimally as the Western Ports and how much that affects national

noted that the assignment would take his committee round the Ports, and at the
end of the day, generate a blue print that would improve patronage at the
Eastern Ports and prevent agitations from host communities.

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