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$800m needed for rehabilitation of Nigerian ports almost ready - FG

The minister said the blue economy had always been there, but not as structured as to generate the kind of revenue a maritime nation like Nigeria should be earning.

Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola. [Twitter:Oyetola]

The Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola, said this at the inauguration of seven patrol boats by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) in Lagos on Thursday.

He said: “I commend the management of the NPA for taking the initiative to strengthen safety in the maritime space.

“Security is very important and we need to give it the kind of attention it deserves. We cannot be talking of trying to get the full potential of the Blue Economy without strengthening the security aspect of our ports.

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“Again, we are modernising the ports. We want to be able to compete with any port in the world. We want to ensure that the vessel turnaround time is reduced to four days as opposed to about six to 10 days that we currently have.

“We must commend Mr President for taking the initiative of creating the Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy and for supporting us all the way.

“I can tell you that the fund for the port rehabilitation is almost ready and we are going to commence rehabilitation anytime from now.”

Oyetola said that the commissioned boats were expected to improve efficiency at Nigerian ports

The minister said the blue economy had always been there, but not as structured as to generate the kind of revenue a maritime nation like Nigeria should be earning.

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“So, part of what we are trying to do is to first ensure maritime security. Secondly, we will be talking of automation of the ports to make it more efficient.'

Also speaking, the Managing Director, NPA, Mohammed Bello-Koko, explained that the procurement of the seven security patrol boats was preceded by a robust needs assessment process undertaken by a highly experienced team.

Bello-Koko said they were drawn from the agency’s Security and Marine Operations Divisions and the Vessel Management Department, who were painstaking and followed through with the product output specification including necessary sea trials.

“This event today is another testament to our commitment to continuous improvement in the journey towards transforming our strategic intent of becoming the maritime logistics hub for sustainable Ports services in Africa from potential to actualities.

“Enhanced maritime safety, security and compliance to global acceptable standards is one of Nigerian Ports Authority’s deliverables under the presidential priorities of the Federal Government of Nigeria.

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“What we are witnessing today, therefore, is pursuant to achieving these deliverables and aligns with the presidential directives regarding the performance of MDAs.

“In addition to positioning us to fulfil the fundamental requirement of security which constitutes a critical success factor in fulfilling two crucial aspects of our post-concession statutory mandates.

“This is in order to regulate maritime business and promoting ports security and safe haven for ships and safeguarding and securing assets of the Authority while maintaining their optimal use.

“The deployment of these state-of-the-art security patrol boats takes us a notch higher in our compliance with the dictates of the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) code of the International Maritime Organisation.

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