The Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala Usman, has said that the collaboration of ports in West and Central Africa is crucial to achieving sustainable development.
Usman spoke at the handover ceremony of Esaie Afri Kouassi, former chief projects officer of the Port Management Association of West and Central Africa (PMAWCA), to his successor, Tantoh Kwalar, on Wednesday.
Bala Usman, who was represented by Olaseni Alakija, General Manager, Corporate & strategic Communications of NPA, said there is a need to articulate and refocus on environmental-related port activities in the sub-region.
She urged members of PMAWCA to increase resilience to develop and remain competitive despite COVID-19 setbacks.
“PMAWCA should encourage member ports to provide needed support for one another and rally together to achieve the milestones that we otherwise could not achieve as individual ports,” newsmen quoted Bala Usman to have said.
“We also have to adopt policies that will increase the involvement of women in the maritime industry.”
Commending Kwalar on his appointment, she encouraged him to continue the pursuit of alliance among member ports towards the improvement of international best practices.
According to her, this could be done through information sharing, consolidation of partnerships, seeking expert assistance and funding as well as sharing of expert services in line with the objectives of the association.
In his remark, Kwalar pledged to work diligently and maintain the work culture at PMAWCA.
Kwalar, who came from the port of Douala, Cameroon, said he had promised the Douala port director that he would serve diligently and make Cameroon and PMAWCA proud of his services.
Also speaking at the event, Jean Marie-Koffi, secretary-general of PMAWCA, lauded the outgoing chief projects officer on his contributions in the last six years.
He also appreciated NPA and the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) for their support over the years, adding that they had played the role of good hosts by supporting PMAWCA’s projects.
The event was also attended by Elizabeth Bessem Manga, the consular-general of Cameroon to Nigeria; delegation of Cameroon; representatives of the NSC and NPA
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