By Innocent Orok
In continuation of his tour of terminals in the Lagos ports , the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers’ Council, Barr. Pius Ukeyima Akutah has reaffirmed the commitment of the Council under his watch to ensure port efficiency and effectiveness in furtherance to encourage investment by the terminal operators.
Akutah who disclosed this on Wednesday during his working visit to the corporate head office of ENL Consortium and APM Terminals Apapa in Lagos respectively, stated that hike in tariff is not of priority to the Council, but how to promote port efficiency, which will lead to high return on investment to terminal operators.
The Executive Secretary who led some of his management staff on the visit to both facilities reiterated that the Council would continue to encourage and support investments in port operations stressing the need for synergy with the concessionaires.
He noted that the engagement with the concessionaires would propel the Council to do more as the Port economic regulatory even as he stressed the need for public and private sector collaboration.
The NSC boss also informed that the creation of the Marine and Blue Economy Ministry by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has created an opportunity for the sector to strife and that the Minister , Adegboyega Oyetola who has signed a Performance Bond with the president is silently developing a framework for the industry.
” The Honourable Minister is developing a framework for the sector, by the time the action plan is out, the sector will be reaping its full potentials”.
While, also assuring that the Minister is ready to address all the challenges facing the sector.
Akutah commended APM Terminals for the huge investment of technology deployed to promote port efficiency and promised the Council through the Ministry is setting a standard for all terminal operators.
On his next line of actions, the council’s boss stated that plans are ongoing to visit the eastern ports to further understudy the peculiar nature of port operations within the region.
Still harping on port efficiency , the Executive Secretary assured the concessionaires that the council will continue to engage critical stakeholders in furtherance to providing solutions to most of challenges affecting port operations. According to him, the Minister of Marine and Blue Economy would soon promote policies to remodel the ports for effective performance.
While at the ENL Consortium Head Office, the Executive Vice Chairman ENL Consortium Limited, Dr Vicky Haastrup, who went on memory lane pre- port concessioning narrated how the port was then and now, saying government is reaping the benefits of the port concessioning as the concessionaires have invested a lot in the last 18 years which has promoted efficiency and port infrastructural development. She called on the Federal government to support the concessionaires ‘ by providing a level playing field for business to thrive.
Haastrup noted that the company has invested hugely in port terminal operations since 2006 adding that the maritime industry has the potentials to surpass revenue generated from the oil and gas sector of the economy.
While at the Lagos Ports Complex (LPC) Government Relations Manager , APM.Terminals, Kayode Daniel told his guests how the port terminal was concessioned and commissioned between 2006 and 2008 respectively. He said the APMT which is a global company operating in many countries off the world have invested heavily in the port .
The Terminal Manager , APMT, Steen Knudsen, on his part, explained how they have invested hugely in human and capital resources development.
Highpoints of the visit to APM Terminal was the facility tour whereby the guests were taken around to understand how the port terminal operates.