National maritime transport policy key to benefits of blue economy – Usman

From Anthony Nwachukwu, Lagos

The much anticipated National Maritime Transport Policy is the key to unlocking the huge potentials and vast opportunities in the nation’s blue economy, the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala Usman, has said.

Such policy, if well-articulated, would support local content development, create good value jobs and attract highly impacting direct foreign investments within the context of the Federal Government’s economic growth and sustainability agenda, a statement from the agency’s Corporate and Strategic Communications Department quoted her to say.

Usman, who participated in the stakeholders’ validation workshop on the policy, said “we look forward to a policy with clear standard operating procedures (SOPs) that would guide our various operations, that would be strengthened by critical legal framework and legislation from the National Assembly.

“The policy should engender a competitive maritime domain with clear rules on institutional governance, service capacity and accountability.”

She called for greater synergy and collaboration between the public and private sector stakeholders to advance the interest of the nation’s maritime industry.

Speaking on the agency’s recently launched Electronic Call-Up System for Trucks (ETO), Usman explained that “the web application would control the movement of trucks in and out of the ports in an orderly and safe manner, on a first come, first served basis.”

According to her, the benefits to accrue from it to the sector and the country include quick truck turnaround time, reduction in port cost, transparent traffic management system and, above all, a business-friendly and globally competitive port system in Nigeria.

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