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Upgraded NPA’s Control Tower to reduce vessels waiting time – NPA MD

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Abiola Seun

For Nigerian Ports to be the desired hub in West and Central Africa, it is expedient for port facilities to be upgraded so as to impact positively on port operational efficiency and vessels waiting time.

This was disclosed by the acting Managing director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mohammed Bello Koko while on a facility  tour  of the newly rehabilitated Control Tower located at the Lagos Ports Complex LPC, Apapa.

Bello-Koko added that effective communication is an important variable for efficient performance of the seaports.

According to him, the refurbished control tower will improve communication, reduce ship waiting time and further reduce the cost of doing business at our ports , the MD said.
“We aspire to be competitors in the sub region. One of the ways to achieve this is by ensuring our facilities such as the Control Towers are up to date and upgraded to work with modern communication and radar systems. This would improve communication, reduce ship waiting time and further reduce the cost of doing business at our ports , the MD said.

He said the  management of NPA is poised to ensure optimal utilisation of its facilities across the nation’s seaports with a view to position the ports on a competitive edge in the West and Central African sub region.

On the welfare of the pilots, he said the NPA places premium on the comfort of this very valued category of staff of the Authority .

” We are committed to the welfare of the pilots, pointing out that matters concerning the pilots’ accommodation, medical care and recreational facilities at the rehabilitated 9 storey Control Towers are world- class with the provision of facilities such as sleeping quarters, gym, canteens, kitchens and meeting/ conference rooms for the pilots and other harbours staff.

In conformity with the above, a second  control tower at Tincan is also being upgraded to provide communication with ships using the VHF frequency.

The rehabilitated control towers will also have updated radar and communication equipment that will enable communication between the ports in lagos and Lekki deep sea port and Dangote refinery jetty.

Bello koko also said “we are deploying more marine equipment like pilot cutters and security patrol boats at various port locations in order to improve port efficiency and security around the ports”

“We will ensure that we engage you for optimal performance”, he stressed.

In a related development, Mohammed Bello Koko has allayed the fear of stakeholders over insinuations that the activities of hoodlums at the Tin Can Island Port may negatively affect the progress already recorded by the truck electronic call-up system Eto in terms of tackling the perennial gridlock at the ports in  Lagos area.

The Managing Director, who visited the affected site where vandals attempted destroying ‘Eto’ infrastructure but were promptly apprehended by vigilant NPA security operatives, assured that rehabilitation work has already commenced.

He pointed out that the incident has not in any way affected operations. He appreciated stakeholders’ support, especially the Lagos State Government for the collaboration at enforcing Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in the use of Eto which has remained a continuum.

Bello Koko used the opportunity of the visit to declare zero tolerance to vandalism at the nation’s seaports and called on all and sundry to partner the Authority in the auspicious task of hoisting the nation’s flag amongst the comity of nations with efficient ports in the  the world.

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