NPA canvasses quick passage of maritime bills to boost port development
by AMAKA ANAGOR-EWUZIE
February 20, 2017 | 7:02 pm| | | Start Conversation
Managing director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Hadiza Bala Usman has called on the National Assembly to see to the quick passage of the Ports and Harbours Bill, National Transport Commission Bill (NTCB) and other relevant maritime bills that have been at the floor of the National Assembly for years.
Usman, who made the call over the weekend at a retreat organised by the House Committee on Ports, Harbours and Waterways in Lagos, also said there was an urgent need to replace the existing obsolete laws that were not supportive of the developmental goals of the nation’s seaports.
According to Usman, passing the pending maritime bills into law would not only enthrone efficiency in the port system given the establishment of a substantive economic regulator for the transport sector, the laws would also boost port development.
“The port industry is one of the key areas of focus for economic development, and the NPA believed that the National Assembly is committed to cooperating with the executive to realise the development goals and objectives set for the port, thus, the need for the passage of the pending bills,” she said.
Stating that the House Committee on Ports, Harbours and Waterways is concerned about bringing the ports up to international standards, the NPA boss also stated that the House Committee was desirous of creating suitable synergy between the National Assembly and the Federal Ministry of Transport.
“This forum is coming at a time when the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government is exploring ways of diversifying and improving the Nigerian economy. I am particularly happy because it will foster exchange of ideas and collaboration for the greater benefits of the port industry,” she said.
She noted that the NPA was excited about the Federal Government’s effort to reform and develops other related areas such as inland waterways and the seaports, the railway and road network to promote inter-modal system of cargo and passenger movement, which, according to her, was very important to the success of the port.
Continuing, she noted it was gratifying to note that the committee was supportive to the NPA efforts to reposition the ports and to enable it play the desired role in the current economic agenda of the Federal Government. This is based on the fact 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.
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