Going by the words of the BCC General Manager, Mr. Bart Van Eenoo, the company has justified reasons for its establishment.
The BCC, according to Eenoo, has recorded modest successes in the areas of both capital and maintenance dredging of the Bonny Channel, provision of aids to navigation on the channel and training for both its staff and officials of the NPA.
The BCC General Manager was speaking while briefing some NPA Board members, who were on a familiarisation tour of the BCC facilities in Port-Harcourt, Rivers State.
Eenoo said that the BCC, which is 60 per cent owned by the NPA and 40 per cent TMC, had through its activities made the Bonny Channel safe for navigation, now accommodating large ocean-going vessels, through regular capital and maintenance dredging, as well as removal of wrecks from the channel.
He told the NPA Board members that the BCC has so far dredged the Bonny Channel from its previous 12.50 metres depth to its present 14.30 metres, increased its width from 215 metres to 230 metres, adding that the company has also removed 14 critical wrecks from the channel.
In the area of training, Eenoo explained that over 50 Marine and Hydrography officers of the NPA benefited from the BCC-sponsored training programme designed for Senior Pilots, Harbour Masters and Hydrographers.
Meanwhile, the management of the Rivers Port, Port-Harcourt has commenced the maintenance and up- grading of the port’s common-user facilities, which has encouraged effective implementation of the Bus-in-Bus-out rules of the engagement with the dock labour.
The Traffic Manager, Rivers Port, Mrs. Eunice Ezeoke, disclosed this when she received the NPA Board members, who visited the Port as part of their tour of the Eastern Ports.
Ezeoke, who told the NPA Board members that security and safety situation in the port have been quite impressive in recent times, said that the port is currently operating on International Ship and Port Facility (ISPC) code Level Two; adding that the port has repaired the merchant tug MT Umuahia, updating the maintenance of MT Utuoke and MT Balali to ensure their optimum function capacity, so as to render effective and efficient marine service.
Members of the NPA Board on the tour included Senator Florence Ita-Giwa, Senator Lekan Mustapha, Alhaji Aminu Babba Dan’Agundi, Mr. Abana Mohammed Gidado; Executive Director, Marine and Operations, Engr. David Omonibeke, and Executive Director, Engineering and Technical services, Dr. Sani Saleh.