Representative of the Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), the General Manager, Human Resources, Yahaya Bukar Gana (standing 4th from right), top management of NPA and former Presidents of Maritime Branch of Senior Staff Association of Statutory Corporations and Government Owned Companies, during the 40th Anniversary of the Branch in Lagos last weekend
President, Senior Staff Association of Statutory Corporations and Government Owned Companies; Comrade Adamu Ya’u, has urged Federal Government to empower Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to expand infrastructure at the nation’s harbours.
Speaking in Lagos during the ceremony to mark the 40TH anniversary of the association, Ya’u said the concession of Apapa and Tin-Can Island ports had stripped NPA of powers to enforce certain rules to develop the ports.
He noted that, “for instance, terminal operators after the concessioning, carved their own demarcation. It is the responsibility of the ports authority to do that.
“With the type of fencing and demarcation one sees at Apapa and Tin- Can ports, if the authority says it wants to carry out an expansion, how would it carry it out? ” Ya’u asked.
He recalled that before the ports were concessioned, there were rail lines in the ports. Containers were evacuated through rail from Lagos to Kaduna and Kano Inland Container Terminals.
“Unfortunately after the concessioning, there were no traces of the rail lines in the ports any more, they were removed,” he said.
Ya’u urged the government to give the executive management of NPA the power to expand port infrastructure.
He said that Boundary and Ajegunle areas of Apapa in Lagos should be relocated to enable government achieve the port’s reforms that would meet international standards.
On the gridlock on Apapa road, Ya’u alleged that the presidential taskforce had turned the perennial gridlock to a commercial venture.
“A truck that should enter the port within an hour, will take seven to 10 days to enter the port; in fact, you have to pay heavily before entering the ports”
“When you stay at the waterfront within Tin-Can and Apapa ports, you will see naval officers piloting trucks into the ports. The traffic is not inside the port but from outside the port”
“If a professional is given opportunity to clear the port access road, it will be done,” he said.
While speaking at the ceremony, the Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Ms Hadiza Bala-Usman, has urged the staff of the agency to work hard to improve their productivity and boost revenue generation.
Bala-Usman, who was represented by the General Manager, Human Resources of NPA, MrYahayaBukaGana, urged the workers to maintain their drive towards integrity, honesty and transparency.
Bala-Usman encouraged the union to continue to embrace dialogue with the management of NPA to resolve industrial disputes.
“As an association of senior employees, the management of NPA appreciates your contributions to the smooth operations at the ports.
“The present management of NPA has demonstrated in many ways that the welfare of workers is of topmost priority and you will recall that the management held the first-ever interactive session with all categories of workers in December 2017.
“The meeting enabled the management to rub minds and compare notes with the union leaders on the overall performance of the authority in the discharge of its mandate,” she said.
She also has lauded the Senior Staff Association for ensuring that industrial harmony pervades the nation's maritime industry, she added that this is a product of their commitment to the vision and mission of the authority.
Usman also maintained that the present management of NPA has demonstrated in so many ways that the welfare of workers tops its priority.
"It is gratifying to note that the industrial harmony that pervades the nation's maritime industry is a product of your commitment to the vision and mission of the authority"
"You will recall that this management held the first ever interactive session with all the categories of workers in December 2017"
The NPA boos said that the meeting gave the agency the opportunity to speak with the work force first hand and rub minds on the overall performance of the authority.
"Since the meeting with the workforce, management has not relented in its efforts to promote the welfare of workers in the areas of continuous training, promotion and payment of salaries as at when due"