The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has said that the revenue generated at the Calabar port would determine whether the federal government would spend a whopping N50billion on the Calabar port dredging.
Managing director of NPA, Hadiza Bala-Usman disclosed this last week while presenting a paper titled; “Driving The Change Agenda Through Freight Forwarding,” at Prince Olawiyola Shittu Colloquium and Book Launch and added that the procurement process of NPA estimated over N50 billion for the dredging of Calabar port.
According to her, NPA is looking to see the attendance revenue generation that will justify such an investment for NPA to dredge Calabar port. She added: “We are also exploring the utilisation of the flat bottom vessels. These are vessels that can navigate and can come into the waterways without depth of dredge. Two of these vessels berthed in Calabar, which was historic.
“We are encouraging shipping companies to utilise such vessels and that will assist the Nigerian ports in having some vessels that does not require such level of investment (N50 billion) in dredging. As to stick to the number to justify the N50 billion investment required to dredge calabar port navigable, we are also encouraging the importers to utilise the flat bottom vessels to bring in cargo. We also got an approval for dredging to 7 metres, which would be completed in the next few months and that will go a long way in reducing the congestion we have in Lagos ports,” she said.
She further explained that the completion of the dredging of the Warri ports would also provide access for cargo particularly the petroleum products coming into the country through other ports location. In her paper presentation, she said the port is an international border post and a point for maritime logistics consisting of shipping companies, Port Authority and the freight forwarders.
She hinted that today’s customers seek a service that is quick, reliable and flexible and yet offers good price, these components are associated with an effective system for which the freight forwarders must play a major role.
In order to execute its role to achieving the ease of doing business and coupled with the expectations of the World Bank trade facilitation agreement, she explained that the Nigerian Ports Authority has taken the following steps to improving freight forwarding in Nigeria by launching of the provisional, final billing and customer portal module of Revenue Invoice Management System aimed at improving service offering, partner relationship, create efficient payment method, maximize revenue and eradicate loss associated with fraud and revenue leakage as part of NPA’s achievements.
Also speaking at the event, the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers Council, Hassan Bello in his presentation tagged, “Regulation in freight forwarding” said there is a need to grow Nigeria’s maritime industry to create employment opportunities for the nation’s teeming unemployed youths.