• Thursday, May 23, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

NPA commissions seven patrol boats to enhance security, port efficiency

NPA commissions seven patrol boats to enhance security, port efficiency

The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has commissioned seven patrol boats acquired to enhance maritime security and port efficiency.

Speaking during the commissioning in Lagos recently, Adegboyega Oyetola, minister of Marine and Blue Economy said the boats will improve port efficiency.

“I commend the management of the NPA for taking the initiative to strengthen safety in the nation’s maritime space. Security is very important, and we need to give it the kind of attention it deserves. We cannot be talking about trying to get the full potential of the blue economy without strengthening the security aspect of our ports.

Read also: FG to sanction ships flouting Sulphur regulations on Nigerian waters

“I believe we are going to have more of these boats. It is deliberate on the part of Mr. President to have created the Marine and Blue Economy Ministry. 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,” he explained.

According to him, the ministry under his watch wants to ensure maritime security and automate the ports to make them more efficient.

“Two weeks ago, I received the report of the consultant of the Port Community System. Part of that is to drive efficiency at our ports,” the minister said.

Earlier, Mohammed Bello-Koko, managing director of the NPA, said the procurement of the seven security patrol boats was preceded by a robust needs assessment process undertaken by a highly experienced team drawn from the authority’s Security and Marine Operations Divisions and the Vessel Management Department.

He said the team painstakingly followed through with the product output specification and also carried out all the necessary sea trials.

“This 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 globally acceptable standards are one of the Nigerian Ports Authority’s deliverables under the Presidential Priorities of Federal Government of Nigeria regarding the performance of MDAs,” he said.

Bello-Koko said it will position the NPA to fulfill the fundamental requirement of security, which constitutes a critical success factor in fulfilling two crucial aspects of the authority’s post-concession statutory mandates of regulating maritime business and promoting ports security for safeguarding ships and securing port assets.

According to him, the deployment of the patrol boats takes Nigeria a notch higher in the nation’s compliance with the dictates of the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) code of the International Maritime Organisation.

Read also: Lekki Port berths largest container ship on Nigerian waters

He commended the Minister for his tireless endorsement of the NPA’s efforts at enhancing the competitiveness of Nigerian ports. He lauded its security partners including the Nigerian Navy, Nigeria Police Force, Nigerian Army, the DSS, and the Lagos state government whose collaborations have continued to enhance NPA’s ability to detect, deter, and respond to security threats and incidents before they fester.