NPA set to boost port infrastructure, partners with Miami Port 

L-R: Director, Government and International Relations for Port of Miami, Ms. Debra Duster Owens; Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority, Hadiza Bala Usman and the International Trade Coordinator at the Department of Regulatory and Economic Resources, Miami-Dade County, Florida, USA, Desmond Alofokhai, during a courtesy visit on the NPA Managing Director by officials of Port of Miami in Lagos.

The Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Ms Hadiza Bala Usman has promised to boost the nation’s economy through the provision of infrastructure and technologically up-to-date equipment at the ports.

The Federal Government through the NPA, she said, will reposition the ports industry to play its key role as the gateway to the nation’s economy.

Speaking at the Executive Business Networking Seminar organised by NIMPORT in Lagos yesterday, Usman who was represented by the General Manager, Public Affairs, Chief Michael Kayode Ajayi said the government is making efforts to reposition the ports in line with global trends.

Growth in trade volumes, she said, is a strong factor in the need for port investment to boost efficiency, build robust, responsive and competitive port economy in tune with global best practices.

She said development and upgrading existing port infrastructure as well as improvement in performance had become imperative.

In countries like North America, Europe and Asia Pacific, she said, growing container market has led to incremental upgrade of the existing port infrastructure with container handling automation already put in place to handle large carriers with up to 18,000 TEU.

In a separate development, the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and the Port of Miami are collaborating to boost export and trade facilitation programme of the Federal Government.

The United States International Trade Coordinator at the Department of Regulatory and Economy Resources (RER),  Desmond Alufohai and the Director, Government and International Relations of the Port of Miami, Debra Owens, said they were at the NPA to explore opportunities in the mineral resources and agricultural produce of the country.

Speaking during their interactive session with the NPA’s Managing Director, Ms Hadiza Bala Usman, the duo expressed their readiness to assist in the development and modernisation of infrastructure at the nation’s seaports.

The delegation also expressed their determination to partner the NPA in the area of compliance and efficient port system.

The group said it will also assist the country to boost the economy by harnessing the immense opportunities in the exportation of farm produce and mineral resources to America.

In her response, Usman appreciated their gesture and said the Federal Government was desirous of also partnering the port of Miami in the area of tourism.

The Managing Director also sought technological transfer in the area of standardisation of farm produce, its preservation and packaging to meet international standard.

At the forum were Executive Directors and other top management team of NPA.

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