By Folasade Folarin
Abuja – Mr Alex Okoh, Director-General, Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), has pledged to work with the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) for a sustained development of the maritime industry.
A statement by Mr Chukwuma Nwokoh, Head of Communications, BPE, on Thursday in Abuja said that Okoh gave the assurance when the Managing Director of NPA, Ms Hadiza Usman, paid him a courtesy visit.
Okoh also said that the collaboration was necessary to enhance efficiency and service delivery at Nigerian ports.
According to Oko, BPE will constantly liaise with NPA to ensure that the concessionaires keep to the terms of covenants signed with government.
The director-general said it would also ensure that agreements due for review were done expeditiously.
Usman, in her remarks, explained that synergy between both agencies would ensure an all-encompassing review process of the ports’ concession agreements.
She stressed the strategic position of the maritime sector in the nation’s economy and its enormous prospects for the economic growth of the country.
According to her, the inter-agency collaboration is one sure way of harnessing the potential of the two organisations.
Nwokoh said the two chief executives used the occasion to review the maritime industry and agreed on the framework for the evaluation of the ports’ concession agreements.
The head, Communications also said Okoh and Usman discussed the infrastructural challenges at the ports and ways to address them.
The two chief executives expressed optimism that the Reform Bills, especially the Ports and Harbour Bill and National Transport Commission Bill receiving attention at the National Assembly, would optimise operations at the ports.
They also hoped that the two bills, when passed into law by the President, would strengthen the technical and economic regulatory framework in the maritime industry.
Last month, the House of Representatives passed the National Transport Commission Bill.
The bill will 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.
It will also guide government on matters relating to economic regulation of the regulated transport industry, when passed into law as well.