The Director-General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Mr. Alex A. Okoh, has pledged the Bureau’s seamless collaboration with the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) for a sustained development of the maritime industry.
Receiving the Managing Director of the NPA, Ms. Hadiza Bala Usman, who paid him a courtesy visit in his office in Abuja, the BPE boss said that this has become necessary in order to enhance efficiency and service delivery at Nigerian ports.
The Chief Executives reviewed the maritime industry and agreed on the framework for evaluation of the ports concession agreements. They also discussed the infrastructural challenges at the ports and the ways to address them.
Okoh stated that the Bureau would constantly liaise with the NPA to ensure that the concessionaires keep to the terms of the covenants they signed with the government and also to ensure that the agreements that are due for review are done expeditiously.
Both expressed optimism that the Reform Bills, especially the Ports and Harbour Bill and National Transport Commission Bill which are currently receiving attention at the National Assembly, would optimize operations at the ports. The two bills when enacted would strengthen the technical and economic regulatory framework in the maritime industry.
In her remarks, NPA MD, Ms. Hadiza Bala Usman, explained that synergy between both agencies would ensure an all encompassing review process of the ports concession agreements.
While stressing the strategic position of the maritime sector in the nation’s economy and the enormous prospects it presents for economic growth, the NPA boss maintained that inter-agency collaboration was one sure way to harness the potentials.
Last month, the House of Representatives passed the National Transport Commission Bill. In the words of the Bill, its main objective is “to provide efficient economic regulatory framework for the transport sector, mechanism for monitoring compliance of government agencies, transport service providers and users in the regulated transport industry with relevant legislation and to advise government on matters relating to economic regulation of the regulated transport industry”.