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The Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Ms Hadiza Bala-Usman, has given an assurance of the agency’s determination to ensure effective service delivery in all Nigerian ports.

Bala-Usman reaffirmed the commitment in a statement signed by Mr Adams Jatto, General Manager, Corporate and Strategic Communication, NPA in Lagos on Friday.

The statement quoted Bala-Usman as giving the assurance while receiving members of the House of Representatives Committee on Ports, who paid working visit to the NPA.

She was represented by the Executive Director, Finance and Administration, Mohammed Bello-Koko, at the event.

According to the managing director, NPA has the intention of making the nation’s maritime sector more competitive and a hub in the sub-region.

She said that the authority was working to reduce the dwell time of cargo at the ports and embrace multimodal transportation through the use of locomotive trains and barges.

Bala-Usman said that the multimodal transportation would also help in the evacuation of cargoes in and out of the ports to the hinterlands.

“Over 95 per cent of the cargoes coming into the ports are taken through trucks, and that is not efficient.

“There must be multimodal means of transportation to include trains and barges in order to reduce congestion and we are working toward this,” she said.

Also, the Chairman of the committee, Mr Garba Datti Muhammad, told stakeholders that the visit to the ports was to avail the committee with the workings there.

Muhammad said that the committee would also find out ways that the House could enhance port operations.

He thanked the NPA management for the cooperation that the committee had received from the organisation, saying that it had brought members up to speed in terms of the operations of the agency.

“It is necessary for members to see things for themselves and also meet with the operators so that we can better appreciate activities and operations of not only the NPA, but also terminal operators and other service providers,” Muhammad said.

The chairman said that the visit was to appraise the 2019 budget performance in line with the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari to Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) during the 2020 budget presentation.

He commended NPA management for the positive developments in the sector since Bala-Usman’s assumption of office.

Muhammad assured NPA management of the committee’s willingness to partner with the authority toward improving the maritime sector, given its importance to the national economy.

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