NPA Partners Miami Port To Improve Port Efficiency    

The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and the Port of Miami, Florid United States of America have expressed readiness to partner in order to facilitate trade and attract investments to both countries.At a meeting with a business delegation from Miami-Dade County in the USA in Lagos yesterday, Managing Director of NPA said that the Nigerian government values the contribution of the economic and trade agenda of the United States and recognises the importance of sound trade relations with Nigeria.The MD of NPA was represented by the Executive Director of Engineering and Technical Services; Prof Idris Abubakar.She said that the essence of the meeting was to engage and foster bilateral trade, commercial ties, maritime services and technical exchanges between both ports.She noted that the new relationship between NPA and Port of Miami will further expand bilateral trade opportunities and enhance the scope of Nigeria and the USA to work together closely to promote a mutually beneficial trade framework.She assured that NPA would use the instrumentality of the federal government in the ease of doing business to ensure that issues of trade facilitation are adhered to."From Nigerians point of view, this trade forum is an important means through which we highlight the capabilities of our port system and the diversity of trade and investment opportunities inherent in Nigeria that will benefit the US and port of Miami in particular""As at 2015, Nigeria was USA' s 60th largest goods trading partner with $5.3billion in total. Goods export totalled $3.4 billion; goods imported totalled $1.9billion. The US goods trade surplus with Nigeria was $1.5""Currently, exports to Nigeria from the USA include wheat, vehicles, machinery, kerosene, lubricating oils, jet fuel, civilian aircraft and plastics. US imports from Nigeria include crude oil  cocoa cashew nuts and animal feed"Hadiza recalled that the NPA had in 2001 signed a Memorandum of Understanding with port of Miami to use its normal process to promote the ease of doing business as sister portsAlso speaking at the meeting, member of the Senate Committee on Marine Transport;  Ovie Omo-Agege assured that the lawmakers are ensuring laws are put in place to attract foreign investors and protect their investments.He said that the Senate has moved to re-engineer the maritime sector by passing the Nigerian Ports and Harbours Authority (NPHA) Bill to promote responsible and globally competitive shipping operations in Nigeria.He added that Nigeria maritime sector can only be developed based on global best practices and unique investor friendly incentives. According to him, the law offers tremendous opportunities and protections for foreign direct investment (FDI)Omo Agege assured that the ports and Harbours bill offers and guarantees the protections and comfort required for business success in the maritime industry."It encourages greater private sector participation in the maritime industry through sustainable infrastructural investment. The law is about transforming he maritime sector and promoting trade in an enabling environment of unhindered private sector participation as articulated in various international conventions and protocols"In her remarks, leader of the US delegation, Audrey Edmondson said that the visit to Nigeria would yield results for the port of Miami and the United States in terms of direct commercial ties."I am using this opportunity to invite the Nigerian business community to Miami-Dade, we want to do business with you, we want to do business with Nigeria as the largest economy in Africa" she said.Also speaking, Port Director, Port of Miami, Juan Kuryla said that the Miami port had seven years ago expressed similar challenges like  Nigeria, especially in terms of congestion, lack of berthing space and traffic congestion.He however said that the port was able to overcome the challenges by entering into a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement. He noted that currently, the Miami port is run 100% based on PPP.