As part of measures to reactivate the dormant port in the oil rich town of Warri in Delta state, the management of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has completed plans to commence work on the repairs of the strategic Escravos break-water and dredging of the channel within the first quarter of this year.
Managing Director of NPA, Mallam Abdul Salam Mohammed told Shipping Position Weekly recently that the authority will soon commence the process of getting the necessary technical drawings for the all-important project.
“Definitely a contractor will also be appointed to give us information about the expected volume, the anticipated volume and also to prepare necessary bid materials. So there are a lot of pre-contract issues that we are in the process of addressing now”, he disclosed, even as he added that the process leading to the commencement of actual work must be thorough.
The NPA boss pointed out that the pre-contract issue would determine how fast the project is going to be undertaken, adding that the agency is committed to improving the capacity of channels leading to all the nation’s seaports.
According to him, the present management expects to achieve these in the next two years if the tempo at which they are going is maintained. “Let’s say a maximum of two years, definitely if the tempo is maintained as it is, we will have a lot of things to say positively about the ports in Nigeria.” He further expressed hope that it would be a dream come true for Nigerian ports to be positively transformed into ideal ports and dredging the channel is a sure step to achieving this goal, he added..
“ I would like our ports to be the preferred ports in Africa, that customers would come, not because they feel that they have no option, but because they feel that in coming to any port in Nigeria, they will have very efficient services, they will have such services at the least cost” he stressed.
“Also their cargo and vessels will be handled professionally and they will also be handled timely and in an efficient manner .So this is my dream for Nigerian ports”
Speaking on possible hindrance dream to actualizing this much nursed the Managing Director stated specifically the issue of misuse of opportunities in Nigeria.
He said that “we have misused our opportunities. We are a country full of opportunities but when you look at it closely, you’ll find that these opportunities have not been fully utilized .We have not utilized these opportunities; not because of anything but because we have not been doing things right”