The federal government has commended the role of private investors in the maritime industry saying they have created availability of necessary port infrastructures.
Minister of transport, Senator Idris Umar, while speaking in Lagos on Monday through the Director of Human Resources of the Federal Ministry of Transport, Oqua Eta, said the growing roles of private sector operators in the provision of important port infrastructures, operational assets and facilities, as well as services are of public knowledge.
“Concessioning of port services to private operators have brought about significant investments in the acquisition of modern terminal equipment and expansion of existing cargo holding facilities.
“These in turn have led to improved efficiency and consequently growth in both ship traffic and cargo throughput in our ports,” the Minister stated.
Umar also commended the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) saying of all the agencies of the Federal Ministry of Transport executing various projects through partnership with the private sector, NIMASA has taken commendable initiatives in this regard.
He also commended the agency’s public-private-partnership project on supply of operational platform which he said had actually made it possible for monitoring Nigerian waters.
“It has also made it possible to enforce important regulations designed to improve safety and security of shipping in our waters, as well as protect our marine environment from shipping activities,” he said.
Meanwhile, NIMASA has said it will launch its personal satellite platform for monitoring activities on the nation’s waterways.
Director General of the agency, Patrick Akpolokemi, said the satellite platform would be ready within the next one month.
“Our efforts so far and the outcomes are quite encouraging. Through a PPP arrangement, NIMASA was able to acquire operational platforms and the associated electronic surveillance systems. These assets have given the agency enforcement capability which before now was almost impossible for lack of operational platforms.
“Today, we have visible presence in Nigerian waters. This has improved our maritime domain awareness which is an important condition for effective maritime security within the context of the ISPS Code.”
“In the next one month, in terms of domain awareness our satellite platform will be fully launched where we can capture anything on the Nigerian waters. Also, we are on the concluding state of practicalising our radar system and in the next few months it will start working.
“We are putting all these in place so that when private investors are working on our waters, they would not be attacked by pirates or other criminal elements,” he stated.