NPA seeks passage of maritime bills

The Nigerian Ports Authority has urged the National Assembly to pass the Ports and Harbours, National Transport Commission as well as other maritime bills before it to speed up port development.

The Managing Director of the agency, Ms. Hadiza Usman, made this plea at a retreat organised by the House Committee on Ports, Harbours and Waterways in Lagos.

Usman said the NPA was committed to capacity building of its workforce because of the international nature of its business, which required it to constantly keep abreast of global developments in shipping and cutting edge technology.

According to the NPA boss, there is an urgent need to pass the bills to replace the existing obsolete laws, which did not support the developmental goals of the country.

She said that the agency was excited about the efforts by the Federal Government to reform and develop other related areas such as inland waterways, ports, railways and road network to promote inter-modal system.

She said, “This forum is coming at a most auspicious time, a time when the President Muhammadu 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 organised 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 overemphasised.

“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 members of the committee and stakeholders to the dynamics of the maritime industry.’’

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