The Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala Usman has urged the National Assembly to pass the Ports and Harbours bill, the National Transport Commission bill and other maritime bills before it to boost port development plan.
NPA, she said, was committed to capacity building of its workforce because its business is international and requires that the agency constantly stays abreast of global developments.
Speaking at a retreat organised by the House Committee on Ports, Harbours and Waterways in Lagos, Usman said there was an urgent need to pass the bills to replace existing obsolete laws, which are not supportive of developmental goals of the country.
She said Nigerian Ports Authority was excited about the Federal Government’s efforts to reform and develop other related areas such as the inland waterways and ports, railways and road network to promote inter-modalism, which is important to the success of the port.
She said, “This forum is coming at a most auspicious time, a time when the President Mohammadu Buhari-led Federal Government is exploring ways of diversifying and improving the Nigerian economy.
“I must say that this is a very welcome innovation. This is the first time this kind of forum is being organized by the House Committee. I am particularly happy because it will foster exchange of ideas and collaboration and I hope it will become an annual event as the gains from it cannot be overemphasized.
“I am also grateful that the ports have been identified as key areas of the economy with the potential to put the nation back on the track of economic boom. One of the key objectives of the retreat is to expose the Honourable Members of the House Committee and stakeholders to the dynamics of the maritime industry, which are quite vast.
“It is very gratifying that we can count on the support of this Honourable Committee in our efforts to reposition the ports to play the desired role in the current economic agenda of the Federal Government.”
She said the lawmakers’ retreat has shown that the maritime industry is one of the key areas of focus for economic development and that the National Assembly is committed to cooperating with the executives to realizing the development goals and objectives set for the sector.
She also said NPA is committed to concluding the 25-year port masterplan of the Federal Government.
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