The Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority Ms Hadiza Bala Usman has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his efforts in revolutionising the Maritime sector in Nigeria.
The Minister speaking at a public presentation of the book “Footprint of President Muhammadu Buhari in the Maritime sector”, stated that the present administration has transformed the sector for everyone to see.
Usman who was represented by the Director of Marine and Operations, Dr Davies Sekonte said “ The Maritime Sector is a major contributor to the economy, the maritime sector is a competitive one with yet untapped potential to do more.
“Singapore Port contributes about 27 per cent to their economy and this administration as well has made giant strides in ensuring that the Nigerian maritime sector remains a competitive one in all spheres.
“This is evident in all aspects of the Maritime sector. The recent commissioning of Apapa Wharf road spearheaded by NPA with commitment of N1.8 bn spent just to enhance connectivity at the port.
“Also the Nigerian Maritime Administration and safety Agency NIMASA, has invested heavily in the satellite system and as well secured surveillance boats for protection of vessels on our waterways.
“This present government also set an ambitious target to boost rail transportation in all the zones of the country such as the construction of the Kano-Kaduna segment the two ends would be joined to ensure that there would be standard gauge railway across the main North-South trading route by the end of 2021”.
She added that this present administration is determined to change the Maritime sector positively.
Speaking also at the event, CEO Ships and Ports, Mr. Bolaji Akinola also gave credence to the present administration for the giant strides attained.
According to him “For one, the present Administration must be given credit for bringing decorum and instilling discipline in the sector, as well as plugging revenue loopholes.
“It is on record that the Nigerian Ports Authority, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Nigerian Shippers’ Council and some other agencies in the sector now record little or no leakages in their systems, unlike the norms of the past.
“It is also on record that the huge infrastructure deficit facing the sector is being committedly and honestly addressed by the present government.
“The lack of scanners in our ports, severely dilapidated port access roads, lack of rail evacuation of cargo from the port as well as dysfunctional inland container depots, from our perspectives are issues the present government has decided to tackle headlong.
“This book has therefore been put together to acknowledge the commitment of the government to the betterment of the Maritime Industry and to serve as a source/reference document for future generations,”he said.