The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has expressed readiness to eradicate piracy before March 2018.
NPA Managing Director; Hadiza Bala Usman gave the assurance at Onne during Onne Ports Stakeholders meeting.
Usman, who was represented by Sokonte Davies, Executive Director, Maritime Operations, said “the piracy challenges will be reduced if not eradicated by March 2018.
She noted that the relative calm on the waterways was due to the security efforts of the Nigerian Navy, Police and Directorate of State Security Services (DSS), among others.
The MD also decried the abandonment of vessels on the sea, adding that the NPA would write their owners to remove such vessels.
She said that NPA was focusing on regulatory measures to enable it render effective services and generate more revenue.
The managing director urged Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to double its security efforts on the nation’s waterways to ensure safety.
The stakeholders had itemized the challenges they were having in their operations.
They listed them to include double taxation-berth rent by NPA and mooring charges by Terminal Operators; non-refund of payment for services between 2009 and March 14, 2014.
Mr Pius, a member of committee on “Challenges encountered by shipping companies/agents”, said the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Channel was blocking other ships’ movement when NLNG vessels were berthing or sailing.
Other challenges included piracy, hijacking of vessels and crew members on waterways.
The stakeholders decried lack of ambulance for emergency situation, among others.
Responding to issues raised by stakeholders, Usman said that the relationship between NPA and stakeholders had been cordial and assured that their challenges would be addressed.
In his contribution, Onne Port Manager, Mr Alhassan Abubakar, said the port had keyed into the reform policy.
According to him, the policy is paying off in the business environment.
Abubakar noted the port had high respect for the Executive Order on the “ease of doing business in Nigeria” .