Mr Chidi Izuwah, Acting Director-General of Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), has said that the issue of security is one of the major challenges of Nigeria Port Authority (NPA) in Rivers.
Izuwah said this on Thursday during the inspection tour of NPA facilities in Port Harcourt.
He said that the aim of the inspection was to ensure that the mandate of ICRC with the Public Private Partnership (PPP) was in compliance and to ensure competent execution of all PPP contracts.
He said this was in line with the terms and conditions of such contracts.
“We are here to know if the regulatory policies put in place by Federal Government is working or not, we want to know issues or challenges leading to the “not work’’, he said.
The acting Director-General also said that the policy of Federal Government on port reform was targeted at achieving increased efficiency of port operations, reducing cost of services to port users.
Others were promoting competition in provision of services and to make Nigerian port the hub for international shipping trade in the west and Central African sub- region.
He said that without security in the water ways and land, the set goals on those policies would not be achieved.
“Investors can only go to cities or countries where their business will strive, not where they are afraid of their lives and properties.
Izuwah called on all Nigerian to join in the campaign for peace and security in all communities and states to make the economy grow.
He commended the efforts of NPA Port Harcourt in taking positive steps towards ensuring that the obligations as specified in the contract were met.
Izuwah also applauded the administration of President Mohammadu Buhari for its policies in ensuring that there be hitch free policies for investors to strive.
In his speech, Mr Abubakar Umar, the Manager of NPA Port Harcourt said that there had been improvement in the services and activities in the Port in spite of its challenges.
Umar stated that the port had recorded more success since the year 2016 till date.
“The port have been busy with cargos coming in since 2016 than it was, we have regular coming of containers and vessels now.
He also mentioned insecurity of vessels on the water ways as one of the major challenges facing NPA Port Harcourt.
“Yes there have been improvement in our activities in the port and it’s a great improvement but not to say that there have not been challenges.
“We have so many challenges facing us on daily bases which has to do with security of our staffs, hijacking of vessels, dragging of the port, piracy and many more,’’ he said.
Umar said that many of these challenges had been put in place, such as blocking the leakages in increase in revenue, recovering some debts owed to NPA by their debtors,
Others were arrangement made to put in place port security main division, upgraded power supply from a lower grid to a higher grid.
Also, Mr Henry Cline, the acting General Manager of Port and Terminal Operators Limited Terminal’ A’ also said that continued piracies at the high sea and hijacking of vessels was one of their big challenges.
Cline also said that dredging of berths, non-construction of common roads leading to terminals, no presence of marine crafts like tugs, pilot cutter and no presence of waterfront security to facilitate the activities.
He called on Federal Government to ensure all agreement signed with the PPP would be carried out to create a conducive environment and boost the economy of the country.