The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) management has commenced a massive upgrade of existing port infrastructure as it has completed the modernisation of the Control Towers at the Lagos Ports Complex LPC, Apapa. This is with a view to ensuring optimum utilisation of facilities across the nation’s seaports as part of efforts to reposition the ports by increasing their competitive edge in the West and Central African sub region.
The Acting Managing Director of the NPA, Mohammed Bello- Koko while speaking during a facility tour of the newly rehabilitated Control Towers located at the LPC, assured that the management under his watch would leave no stone unturned in its bid to upgrade all ports infrastructure to global standards in order to make the seaports globally competitive.
The NPA helmsman said it has become expedient for port facilities to be upgraded so as to impact positively on the ports’ operational efficiency. He added that effective communication remains an important variable for efficient performance of the seaports.
He said “We aspire to be competitive in the sub region. One of the ways to achieve this is by ensuring that our facilities such as the Control Towers are up to date and upgraded to work with modern communication and radar systems. This would improve communication, reduce ship waiting time and further reduce the cost of doing business at our seaports”.
On the welfare of the pilots, he said: “The NPA places high premium on the comfort of this very valued category of staffers of the authority. We are committed to the welfare of the pilots, matters concerning the pilots’ accommodation, medical care and recreational facilities at the rehabilitated nine- storey Control Towers are world- class with the provision of facilities such as sleeping quarters, gym, canteens, kitchens and meeting/ conference rooms for the pilots and other harbours staffers”.
The rehabilitated control towers also have updated radar and communication equipment that enables communication between the ports in Lagos and Lekki Deep Seaport and Dangote Refinery jetty.
Bello koko also said the management is deploying more marine equipment like pilot cutters and security patrol boats at various port locations in order to improve port efficiency and security around the port “We will ensure that we engage you for optimal performance”, he assured the pilots.”
In a related development, Mohammed Bello Koko has allayed the fear of stakeholders over insinuations that the activities of hoodlums at the Tin Can Island Port may negatively affect the progress already recorded by the truck electronic call-up system ‘Eto’ in terms of tackling the perennial gridlock at the ports in Lagos area.
Bello-Koko, who visited the affected site where vandals attempted destroying ‘Eto’ infrastructure but were promptly apprehended by vigilant NPA security operatives, assured that rehabilitation work has already commenced.
He pointed out that the incident has not in any way affected operations. He appreciated stakeholders’ support, especially the Lagos State Government for the collaboration at enforcing Standard Operating Procedures SOPs in the use of Eto which has remained a continuum.
He used the opportunity of the visit to declare zero tolerance to vandalism at the nation’s seaports and called on all and sundry to partner the Authority in the auspicious task of hoisting the nation’s flag amongst the comity of nations with efficient ports across the globe.