The Eastern corridor seaports are under-utilized and must be made to function optimally, the Chairman of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Board, Chief Akin Anderson Ricketts, has said.
Ricketts, who made the remarks at the inauguration of the new board on Thursday by the Minister of Transportation, Mr, Rotimi Amaechi, pointed out that the intractable congestion at the Lagos ports must be dealt with as a priority challenge and pledged the board’s full support to enable the NPA deal with the challenges.
He said: “The major issues confronting our ports today are capacity utilisation and evacuation corridors. While the ports in the East are being grossly underutilized due to many factors, the efficiency of the ports in Lagos is hampered by inadequate evacuation corridors that lead to congestion on the road, which ultimately affects prompt service delivery.
“This is a challenge that we intend to confront head-on in conjunction with other stakeholders, with a view to ameliorating the sufferings of port users and ease business in the port, as envisaged by the Federal Government” he added.
The new board chairman also promised synergy and effective oversight of the NPA without constituting the board into an alternative management.
According to him, the board will create an atmosphere where employees would be given the opportunity to air their views and express dissent on any policy or action they feel strong about and ensure that measures are emplaced so that this process is not unduly abused.
In his remarks, the minister charged the new board not to run a parallel management, saying that “it is important you work with the management. It is important you realize you are not the management, you are a board.”
The other board members are Mohammed Koko, Onari Brown, Sen. Binki Garba, Sen. John Udoidighe, Abdullwahab Adeshina, Ghazali Mohammed, Mustapha Aminu Dutse and Prof. Idris Abubakar.