Government to partner and open up the Calabar port, describing the port as the closest to the North East.
She said it is “important for us to revive that route so that the mineral deposits in the North would be exported abroad through the port”.
Usman disclosed this at a news conference to round off her tour of Calabar Port last week.
On the need to dredge the port, she said that the management held a meeting last Thursday with the Calabar Channel management, and that NPA has requested for the hydrographic survey done by the company in the past. Usman said: “There is critical need to resolve the issue to make the draught deeper.”
The NPA MD also told the media that the organisation will commence the recruitment of younger professionals into the service in view of the ageing workforce.
.According to her, there is a lot of skills and knowledge that need to be transferred, “and we should be able to transfer knowledge and skills”.
Usman said NPA would embark on recruitment drive and look at the organisational structure to determine how the recruitment would be carried out. She said that the management was looking at succession planning and recruitment of people.
“We met an arrangement on ground concerning the decision to recruit as the present workforce is ageing.
“We want to recruit specialists, mariners, critical operational staff. These are those positions that we will be targeting.
“We encourage every member of the public to be on the look-out for the advertisement of vacancies and to apply,” she said.
She said that the 10-year old port concession exercise is due for review, adding that the review will broadly examine all facets of the terms of the port concession engagement.
She said the review would cover areas like financing models and the concession environment.
“We would reach out to the ICRC and they would be part of the review,” she said.
Usman said that as the nation’s economic climate changes, there was need to adjust.
She also said that many agencies including the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) were indebted to the NPA, adding that the management will proceed aggressively to recover the debts.
In protecting the revenue of the organisation, the managing director assured that the management would look at whatever financing models were put in place and would not accept anybody short changing the Federal Government.
According to her, there are areas of revenue leakages and NPA had put in place e-payment system to prevent data manipulation as the authority moved toward implementation of a single window regime.
She solicited the support of the staff as she said the management would introduce policy decisions that might be tough. Usman said that all operators were aware that “we would only accept dollar-denominated payments”.
On projects, she promised to ensure that capital projects have impact on the authority’s revenue drive.
Usman said NPA had a 25-year port master plan that would take into consideration the needs of Nigerian ports.
“We believe that the capacity of the ports might not be fully utilised now. This is critical to us as we seek for port development across the country,” she added.
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