Abiola Seun |
Stakeholders in the nation’s maritime sector have applauded President Muhammad Buhari for re-apointing the Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala-Usman for another five years.
The re-appointment was announced in a statement by Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, and made available to newsmen.
Also approved is the reconstitution of the Non-Executive Board of the NPA, with Emmanuel Olajide Adesoye (from South-West zone) as Chairman.
Adesoye was the Chairman of the Board since 2015 until last year when he was replaced by Akinwunmi Ricketts.
Ricketts, from the south-south geopolitical zone of the country, now becomes an ordinary member of the Board alongside Ekenyem Nwafor-Orizu (South-East zone); Ghazali Mohammed Mijinyawa (North-East zone), Mustapha Amin Dutse (North-West zone), and Abdulwahab Adesina (North-Central zone).
But, the President Shipowners’ Forum, Margaret Orakwusi said the re-appointment was as a result of the hard work of the Hadiza Bala Usman in the last five years.
She however charged Hadiza to consolidate on her achievements, open up the Eastern ports as well as end congestion on the seaside and port access road.
Orakwusi also asked her to ensure she grooms worthy successor that will continue with her legacy after her tenure elapsed.
Her words, “She should in this new term open the Eastern ports, end congestion in the seaport as well as the traffic gridlock which has been another challenge in the last few years. She should ensure she achieve the call up system because that is long overdue.
“The jetties and quay apron needed to be rehabilitated because they are collapsing. She also need to ensure that infrastructure that will attract investment to the sector are rehabilitated and constructed.”
Orakwusi stated further, “She should consolidate on her good work. She should empower women and groom people in a manner that they will continue on the legacy she is building. She has set a huge standard in the industry and one other thing is that she is ready to learn as well as share her time.
“What is important is to groom and mentor the younger ones and people that will take over from her when she leaves. She has done very well in a male dominated environment and I once again congratulate her on her reappointment and this call for more work.”
Also speaking, President, National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents (NCMDLCA), the umbrella body of customs agents in Nigeria, Lucky Amiwero applauded the appointment and called on the NPA boss to focus on her reforms to make the ports better.
He said she should build on her achievements in her first tenure and ensure NPA as service providers focuses on the technical aspect of port operation.
“She has done well and deserves commendation but we have a lot of problems that are militating against the port industry.
” The African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) has commenced, how is our ports going to fare. We want her to do more to make the port active and responsive because what we have now is too expensive.”
“For now, the NPA do not have a defined role because when you look at the three components of the port, regulation, port operation and landlord, they re supposed to be technical operators, they should focus on building the port in her new tenure.
“We are losing our cargo; the port access roads are not in good shape. She must focus on trying to build a new port system and focus on the technical aspect like dredging. They are providers of services so they should focus on providing the services to make the port better, “he said.
© 2021, maritimemag. All rights reserved.