• Wednesday, June 12, 2024
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Warri Port still berths vessels despite need to reconstruct breakwaters – NPA

Warri Port still berths vessels despite need to reconstruct breakwaters – NPA

Despite the collapse of Escravos breakwaters that prevents siltation from entering the channel leading to Warri Port, the port is still receiving vessels, according to the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).

BusinessDay understands that Mohammed Bello-Koko-led NPA management has concluded the channel’s survey and mapping and is at the conclusive stages of securing relevant approvals to fund the reconstruction of Escravos breakwaters, which collapsed decades ago.

Also, the NPA said it has put measures in place to ensure the safe berthing of vessels to facilitate trade.

Assuring stakeholders doing business in the Warri Pilotage district of safe navigation, Mohammed Bello-Koko, managing director of NPA, said the Authority is working assiduously under the guidance of the Federal Ministry of Transportation to comprehensively address the challenges of all Delta Ports.

“We have put measures in place to ensure nothing impedes business continuity for all those operating within our safety and security rules,” he said.

According to him, the NPA also gives up-to-date local and international training, simulation and manoeuvrability competence to its team of pilots to ensure zero incidences of vessels running aground.

This, he said, recently enabled the safe berthing of MT Zonda and MT Stellar and outbound vessel MT Duke, MT Vardar and MT Igbinosa on Friday 14 July 2023 despite six vessels at anchorage outbound and inbound for Bonny Island, Koko and Escravos.

Recall that the Authority recently procured and installed adequate buoys for Warri, realigned the entrance buoys, docked and reclassified vessels, and stipulated frequent simulation training and retraining for all the pilotage crew to enable them to respond to the exigencies of the channel.

It said the occasionally reported incidences of vessels running aground cannot impede the channel as they are vessels operating illegally without NPA Marine Pilots on board, and they ran aground only because they veered off the channel and safety-marked areas due to incompetence.

Meanwhile, to enhance its domain awareness capability to detect and frontally keep illegal vessels at bay, the Authority recently awarded consultancy for the installation of Vessel Traffic Services (VTS) across all its port locations, and the first phase is already completed.

Also, it recently acquired and deployed security patrol boats and intensified its collaborations with relevant security agencies to stem the activities of such illegal vessels whose activities result in such breaches.