APM Terminals Apapa on Tuesday hosted a capacity building workshop for public relations managers and journalists covering the Nigerian maritime sector.
The workshop was facilitated by prominent ethics, media and communication scholar, Dr. Ngozi Okpara of the School of Media and Communication, Pan-Atlantic University, Lagos and leading maritime scholar, Dr. Frank Ojadi of the prestigious Lagos Business School.
“We see this workshop as part of our corporate social responsibility. It is important that those who manage information in and about the maritime industry are brought to speed on industry trends.
“A key aspect of the workshop was the ethical dimension to public relations and journalism practices and I am happy that this issue was well-discussed and I believe it will impact positively on the development of the maritime industry,” Head of Government, Stakeholder Relations and Communications of APM Terminals Apapa, Austin Fischer said.
Fischer, who delivered a paper on the “Structure and Dynamics of Port Operations in Nigeria”, said APM Terminals remains committed to infrastructural development through investments in port development, railway and inland container facilities in Nigeria.
He said the company has fully developed and modernized its terminal at the Lagos Port Complex Apapa through an investment of over USD350 million (N126 billion).
The investment, according to him, covers the development of container handling and stacking yards, container inspection facilities, sophisticated and ultramodern cargo handling equipment, information technology, automation, human resources, a world class training centre, simulator and rail sidings which is now handy given the gridlock on the port access roads.
He said APM Terminals recently commenced work on the provision of modern cold chain transportation alternatives for farmers in the agricultural centers of northern Nigeria to bring fresh produce intact and unspoiled to market centres in Lagos.
“An estimated 15 million metric tons of Nigerian-grown perishable goods, including onions, potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, okra, ginger and carrots, are lost annually due to poor logistics infrastructure and high transportation costs through spoilage and product damage.
“Ongoing investments by APM Terminals in cold chain transportation is demonstrating ways to reduce post-harvest losses, and extend the shelf life of fresh produce to local consumption and export,” he said.
CEO of Ships & Ports, Bolaji Akinola, whose company organised the workshop, said the maritime sector is crucial to the attainment of Nigeria’s economic aspirations.
According to him, “With the country’s vast coastline measuring about 850 kilometres and an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of well over 300,000 square kilometres with 3,000 kilometres of navigable inland waterways; six major seaports, 11 oil terminals, and over 170 private jetties; rewarding career and business opportunities beckon on discerning minds.
“Media practitioners especially journalists who cover and report the maritime beat for their various organisations have vital roles to play in helping the country harness the benefits of its huge maritime endowments and help Nigerians understand the place of the sector in their daily lives. To this end, a proper understanding of the industry’s dynamics by journalists and a patriotic disposition in reporting the industry will go a long way in ensuring its positive exposure to the world.”