• NPA BOARD: Consensus was that the NPA board must henceforth include shipping and maritime professionals and organisations. There were questions about the disparity in tenure of managing director and executive director. There were suggestions also that just like what obtains in the corporate world, the board of NPA (once constituted by the President) should be allowed to appoint the organisation’s executive directors.
• WRECKS REMOVAL: Stakeholders were sharply divided over the right of NPA over wrecks removal outside channel entries and harbours. Opponents say that it is the statutory responsibilities of NIMASA under the enabling Act 2009 to ensure safety of the nation’s waters.
• REGULATION: There are two sides to this; one is the issue of National Transport Commission (NTC) which talks about commercial and technical regulation of a post-concession port system. The second has to do with the inclusion in the bill that NPA should be the technical regulator. The NTC issue which is the creation of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) did not jell with both the law makers and majority of maritime industry stakeholders who attended the public hearing. But while not wanting the NTC, the stakeholders may have shot themselves in the foot as the law makers are obviously tilted towards making NPA the technical regulator.
• GOVERNMENT AGENCIES IN THE PORT: Again, NIMASA (for whatever reason) became an issue. Being, the nation’s flag and port state control as well as maritime safety agency, its name ought not to be missing from the list of agencies which will be permitted to maintain their presence in the port. But only, Immigration, Police, Customs and Port Health are recognised. It took the intervention of master mariners, licensed customs agents and others to secure some degree of sympathy for NIMASA. Of course, a little voice came from NPA which through its managing director wanted NIMASA in the ports purely to perform port state functions.
• TERMINAL OPERATORS/NPA RELATIONSHIP; For obvious reasons, the terminal operators resisted very stoutly the request by the NPA for powers to punish non-performing concessionaire or to totally take over a concessioned are because of non-performance or is a situation of national emergency. For whatever reasons, no one else but the duo seem interested in this.
• NIWA VS NPA: For failing to appear, the management of National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) may be toying with the agency’s continued relevance. Certain section of the new bill seriously threatens the continued relevance of NIWA. There was no one to make serious representation for the agency
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