The Management of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Port Harcourt, has said that lots of progress have been made in development, security, safety and other related issues that play pivotal role in the port concesioning in Port Harcourt port.
Speaking while presenting a paper titled, “Peculiar Challenges in Port Harcourt Port” at a one-day sensitization seminar with the theme, “The Economic Imperatives of Reviving Eastern Ports”, the Port Manager, Port Harcourt, Port, Mr T. Alabi said that development plans and marine related issues that play pivotal role in port concessioning had recorded a tremendous improvement.
The port manager, who was represented by Mrs Eunice Ezeoke, a principal manager in the NPA stated that some of the areas where progress have been made in recent times, include rehabilitation and reconstruction of quay apron, erection of high mask lighting system, erection of gate control/gate house and the construction of container/stacking areas for quick turn around in favour of container/general cargo vessels.
Other areas of progress, Alabi pointed out are proper position and lightening of navigational buoys along the channel and the dredging of the channels which is a joint venture of the authority and the company, Messrs. Bonny Channel from Bonny River to Onne junction measuring about 11.5 meters.
Other areas of achievement cover the area of the safety and security along the channels for easy flow of direct investment, reduction in the bureaucratic procedures, rehabilitation of road/rail network and multiple government agencies in port operators among others.
The port manager said the Port Harcourt port is a natural port built in 1952 with access channel at Bonny River, approximated to 27 nautical miles from the fairway buoy.
According to him, the port was built as a service provider for optimal productivity, and has played important role in trans-shipment port for coastal and domestic operations within the West and Central African countries, provided pilotage towage and berthing service as well as responsible for the marking of the shorelines to ease navigation along the waterways, even as it contributed to the economic interest of states.
The seminar was put together by the Maritme Reporters Association of Nigeria (MARAN) in Port Harcourt.