By Adelola Amihere
The newly appointed Board Chairman of the Nigerian Ports Authority, (NPA) Chief Akin Ricketts has called for an optimal utilization of the Eastern corridor seaports as they have been underutilized.
Chief Ricketts made the call on Thursday in Abuja during a brief inauguration ceremony performed by the Minister of Transportation, Hon Chibuike Amaechi alongside other members of the board.
Speaking, the Minister warned the new board not to run a parallel management adding that “It is important you work with the management. It is important you realize you are not the management, you are a board.”
While also tasking the new board to ensure smooth operations at the ports, he explained that, “We are in unusual times but we cannot afford to shut our seaports. Activities must continue.”
Other NPA board members include; Mohammed Koko, Onari Brown, Sen. Binki Garba, Sen. John Udoidighe, Abdullwahab Adeshina, Ghazali Mohammed, Mustapha Aminu Dutse and Prof. Idris Abubakar.
Chief Ricketts who spoke on behalf of the newly inaugurated board also indicated that the intractable congestion at the Lagos ports must be dealt with as a priority challenge thus pledged the board’s full cooperation to enable the NPA deal with the challenges.
“The major issues confronting our ports today are capacity utilisation and evacuation corridors. While the ports in the East are being grossly underutilized due to many factors, the efficiency of the ports in Lagos is hampered by inadequate evacuation corridors that lead to congestion on the road, which ultimately affects prompt service delivery.
“This is a challenge that we intend to confront head-on in conjunction with other stakeholders, with a view to ameliorating the sufferings of port users and ease business in the port, as envisaged by the Federal Government” he promised.
Speaking further, the Chairman noted that “We are sure that NPA wouldn’t have its share of challenges and issues that need to be resolved or need immediate attention.
“We will do that in conjunction with the Management and all relevant stakeholders. We will ensure that we give every issue and matter that comes to our attention the consideration it deserves and deal with it fairly and objectively, without favour or ill will”.