Citing the need to build capacity to enable the organisation sustain port reforms, the Ken Nnamani Centre for Leadership and Development (KNCLD) has undertaken a three-day training for 300 workers of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).
The workshop commenced Monday and ended yesterday in Victoria Island, Lagos.
Executive Director of KNCLD, Prof. Ebere Onwudiwe, said that under the transformational leadership of the present Managing Director, Mallam Habibu Abdullahi, the NPA had witnessed tremendous progress because, on his assumption of office, he identified the need that, for the country to realise its economic potential, there must be an uninterrupted flow of goods and services to and from the country, for which an efficient port system was a must.
“I recall that in one of his early interviews, Abdullahi spoke about his plans to update Nigeria’s existing ports and develop new ones, also emphasising the role of the private sector in this process,” Onwudiwe said.
According to him, the present leadership of the NPA had succeeded in building on the successes of his predecessors and had some achievements to his credit.
“Growth in key global economies such as Brazil and the U.S. has slowed considerably, down to two per cent. However, records show that Nigeria’s GDP grew by 7.4 per cent. The country’s growth is robust and sustainable and this is related to free and unfettered access experienced at the ports,” Onwudiwe said.
He said that the NPA is one of the main players in the economy, as, according to him, the maritime industry boosts the economy, noting that it is through the sector that Nigeria plies the bulk of her international trade vis-à-vis through the ports.
The KNCLD Executive Director posited that before the present transformational leadership came on board, majority of Nigerian ports have become dilapidated, simply because most are over 30 years old, and, therefore, already limited.
Pointing out that quite a number of investors are coming into the nation’s ports system, he explained that, in Lagos, one of the concessionaires at the Lagos Port Complex (LPC) is trying to develop another port just outside Lagos as well.
These evolving ports, according to him, are deep seaports, which are coming up to deal with the overstretched ports in the Lagos metropolis.
Consequently, Onwudiwe said: “It has become necessary that workers of the NPA be brought to speed through capacity building by training them in the art of doing business in the new dispensation.”