Efforts by the management of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to improve vessel traffic to the Eastern Ports has started yielding result as the Rivers Port in Port Harcourt is now expecting its first Roll on/Roll off (RoRo) vessel in the next couple of weeks.
This vessel, which would be the first RoRo vessel to berth in the history of the Rivers Port, is scheduled to depart the United States of America in the middle of March and arrive in Port Harcourt in April.
RoRo vessels are usually loaded with automobiles.
According to a statement signed by Jatto Adams, general manager, Corporate and Strategic Communications of the NPA, the coming of the RoRo vessel, would be a milestone in the history of Rivers Port and the whole of the Eastern Ports.
“The introduction of RoRo operations will in no small measure increase the revenue base of Rivers Port in particular and NPA as a whole. The achievement is traceable to intentional commitment and landmark reforms that the current management of the NPA has instituted towards ensuring that all ports in Nigeria become optimally functional,” Jatto stated.
Jatto further stated that the NPA has taken several steps to improve the volume of traffic in the Eastern Ports. He listed the steps to include the introduction of 10 percent discount in harbour dues on some categories of cargoes berthing at the eastern ports, dredging of Escravos Channel in Warri, and the deployment of equipment as well as machinery to improve operational efficiency of those ports.
He said others include constant engagement with stakeholders towards achieving industrial harmony and peaceful co-existence, conversations with shipping companies, which saw the deployment of flat bottom vessels to Calabar, working with the Nigerian Navy, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the Port Police Command to combat crimes on the nation’s waterways.
Jatto also stated that NPA was also engaging with the Federal Ministry of Works to ensure the rehabilitation of access roads to and from ports in the region.
He however stated that the management of the NPA has assured of its commitment to ensuring that all ports in Nigeria operate at maximum capacity to the advantage of all Nigerians.