Business

Eastern ports to witness higher vessel traffic –FG

By Steve Agbota

The Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy has said  that plans are afoot to provide the facilitation and advocacy required to grow the vessel traffic to the eastern ports.

Speaking at the commissioning of 4.8km road and Marine craft at Onne port, Rivers State, the Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola, said that deepening efficiencies and full capacity utilization of the eastern ports constitutes one of the tools deployed to achieve the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) assigned to the ministry under the Presidential Performance Bond.

The eastern ports comprise of ports in Onne, Rivers, Warri and Calabar.

The Minister, who expressed happiness that the Onne and Calabar port complexes have met the requirements of the International Organization for Standardisation and are ISO certified, said the newly-commissioned mooring boats would further enhanced the security and safety at the Eastern port.

According to him, providing enabling environment for investors to patronise the eastern ports is top priority of the Marine and Blue Economy Ministry.

“This road infrastructure constructed by the Nigerian Ports Authority and the mooring boats we are gathered here to commission, is another testament to the commitment of the Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy under my watch to maximize the entire gamut of opportunities conferred on us by our maritime endowments, in line with the directives of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

“The Mooring Boats are used to safety berth and unberth vessels calling at various pilotage districts. These six Mooring Boats is our own way of further enhancing the security and safety of our maritime space. 

Deepening the efficiencies and full capacity utilization of the strategic advantages of Onne and other Port Complexes in the eastern axis constitutes one of the tools we are deploying in actualizing the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) assigned to us under the Presidential Performance Bond. We are now poised more than ever before to give the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) all the backing necessary to address all factors responsible for the underutilization of these national assets,” Oyetola stated.

Speaking earlier, the Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mohammed Bello-Koko, said that the commissioning of the newly constructed road and deployment of the marine craft will positively impact cargo dwell time and win back huge revenues hitherto lost to terminal operators’ inability to meet their performance targets on account of inaccessibility to their lease areas due to bad road. 

According to him, the vast expanse of reclaimed land already leased for port development is actually a link to growth in new business opportunities and increased revenue for the national economy.

“The Phase 4B houses a significant portion of the untapped potentials of the Onne Port Complex, thus the completion of the Road “D” which the major arterial link to the new Berths 9, 10, 11 and 12 at Federal Ocean Terminal (FOT) and vast expanse of reclaimed land already leased for port development is actually a link to growth in new business opportunities and increased revenue for the national economy.

“This road which stretches over a total of 4.8 Kilometers, covering two container terminals and caters to almost 1,000 trucks daily is indicative of the Authority’s positioning for the growth, competitiveness and future-readiness. By promoting the ease and speed of doing business in the port, this infrastructure deployment will positively impact cargo dwell time and win back huge revenues hitherto lost to terminal operators’ inability to meet their performance targets on account of inaccessibility to their lease areas due to bad road,” he stated.

Bello-Koko also demanded the minister’s support for the concrete fencing of stretch of land at the Onne port to guard against unauthorized access.

“In addition to the 250mm Thick Reinforced Concrete Road we are here to commission, the scope of this project provides for Median and Side Drain with High Mast Tower Lighting of the dual carriageway port access road of the Federal Ocean Terminal (FOT) Onne.

“Cognizant of the fact that good road infrastructure requires a complement of sound marine craft and equipment, the Authority in addition to the Security Patrol Boats Commissioned by the Minister last month, procured six modern Mooring Boats to enhance the efficiency of our habour operations.

“Mooring Boats enhance safety by assisting the berthing and un-berthing processes, enabling emergency response, vessel security and generally mitigating hazards associated harbor operations. To enhance the security of the investments that will begin to sprout with the opening of this road, the Minister’s support is also required for the concrete fencing of the stretch of land to guard against unauthorized access,” he stated.

 

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