Nigerian maritime sector must be globally competitive,’ says Yusuf
THE Minister of Transport, Alhaji Yusuf Suleiman has said that the Nigerian maritime sector would need to be developed to be globally competitive for it to become a maritime hub of the West African sub-region.
He said this during the unveiling of the Nigerian Ports Authority quarterly Journal in Lagos recently.
He said, “the world has changed and Nigeria must wake up to the global challenge so that smaller nations will not overtake us so as not to be regarded as a maritime country of the yesteryears.
“Nigeria must develop her maritime sector if it must continue to operate as the dominant maritime power and remain competitive globally.”
Former Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority and Chairman of the event, Alhaji Bamaga Tukur said that marine transportation was essential for national and economic development.
He said there was the need to build human capacity, adding that continuous stakeholder’s interaction could also not be underestimated for growth and development of the maritime industry.
Tukur said, “whatever you have, transportation is what make it possible for you to have it. Marine transportation is the engine of development. NPA today is different from NPA of yesterday in terms of structure, style and administration.
“Three things are essential for development and for moving the sector forward: ownership, leadership, and partnership. The three are always at the forefront.”
He, however, commended the management of NPA for convening the event, adding that those, who did not know where they were coming from would not know where they were going, “let’s try to visit yesterday so that today will be better,” he said.
Furthermore, the Managing Director, NPA, Omar Suleiman said the event was a memorable event for the development of the nations maritime sector, which was aimed at engendering service delivery.
According to him, it was essential for stakeholders to suggest noble ideas on how to further develop the ports system which was why the event was held.
Suleiman said, “this occasion is to afford us to celebrate our own in view of their contributions to NPA in the past and present and their legacies.
The purpose of the gathering is to re-launch our internal journal for the benefit of the Nigerian maritime industry. We have not reached the promise land yet, but we have achieved substantially.”
Also speaking, the former Managing Director, NPA and a guest speaker at the event, Chief Adebayo Sarumi said the entire port capacity in Nigerian was designed for 40 million tones capacity, but the nation’s ports’ capacity presently was in excess of 80 million tones, adding that there was the need to expand the port capacity.
He said port reform started in Nigeria in 1976, adding that prior to 1976, Nigeria had some of the worst infrastructure required for port development, which was later put in place by Alhaji Bamangar Tukur.
He enjoined others to emulate Tukur for his contribution to human capacity development in the nations’ maritime sector.
“About 80 per cent of cost at the Nigerian port is not attributable to Nigerian port, only 20 per cent are attributable to it. Nigerian needs to open new channel, engage in institutional reforms, build key walls, break waters to develop its maritime sector,” Sarumi said.