By Stella Enenche, Abuja
The chairman of the Board of the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), Chief Akin Ricketts, has expressed worries over what he said was the underutilization of seaports within the Eastern corridor.
Ricketts made the startling revelation at a controlled inauguration of the Board of NPA, Thursday, by the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi.
Shortly after the brief ceremony, Amaechi charged the board to avoid the temptation of running a parallel management.
The former Rivers State Governor said:very “It is important you work with the management. It is important you realize you are not the management, you are a board.
“We are in unusual times but we cannot afford to shut our seaports. Activities must continue”.
In his inaugural address, Chief Ricketts pledged to address the congestion at the Lagos ports.
This was as he pledged the Board’s readiness to cooperate and support the minister, in his quest to achieve set goals.
“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.
“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” Ricketts assured.
He added thus: “We will create an atmosphere where employees would be given the opportunity to air their views and express dissent on any policy or action they feel strong about. And we will ensure that measures are emplaced so that this process is not unduly abused. We will ensure that feedback mechanisms are in place from our major stakeholders and port users so that we improve on service delivery, efficiency and capacity”.
Other board members include; Mohammed Koko, Onari Brown, Sen. Binki Garba, Sen. John Udoidighe, Abdullwahab Adeshina, Ghazali Mohammed, Mustapha Aminu Dutse, and Prof.Idris Abubakar.
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