Chief Adebayo Sarumi, a former Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has lauded the Mohammed Bello-Koko management team, saying they surpassed expectations of stakeholders in it’s landlord role
Sarumi, who superintended over the port reform programme between 2003-2006, gave kudos to the current management of the authority saying it surpassed vision and expectations on the nation’s reformed seaports.
Speaking on the sidelines of the inspection of the country’s Mission to Seafarers MTS facility located on Marine Road Apapa, Sarumi said emphatically that the current management is getting it right in terms of the roles and responsibilities of a port landlord should be under the present scheme of things in Nigeria’s port industry.
He also said that the management under Bello-Koko’s watch has surpassed the expectations and vision of those who conceived the idea of the port reform programme on what a modern port system should do. While expressing delight at the good work being done by the management, he urged them to remain consistently focused on delivering globally competitive port system for Nigeria.
“The Bello-Koko management of the NPA has done well. You know I am in a position to say this because I have also been a Managing Director of the NPA. His management is getting it right. When in those days and I happened to be the midwife that delivered the port reform, we were looking for those, who will deliver the gains of the port reforms, we never thought of people like him.
“But here we are today. He has even surpassed our vision of what a modern seaport should be; a seaport that is well connected and globally competitive and people would be happy using such ports. This management under Bello-Koko is doing it and the world can see it, so we give them kudos and encourage them to do even more.”
Speaking on the inspection of the dilapidated facility, Sarumi, who double as chairman of the MTS noted that it has become historical for the port authority to shoulder several general industry responsibilities, hence the decision of the board of the MTS to reach out to the NPA management for assistance towards renovating the facility built during the colonial era.
He noted that apart from boosting Nigeria’s image globally, bringing the facility to global standards would further enhance the country’s rating as a maritime nation, especially as she plans to vie for an elective position into the Category C of the Council of the International Maritime Organisation IMO, an organ of the United Nations.
Sarumi also said: “We appreciate the NPA for coming in to render this support, we understand the burden it is grappling with, it’s a lot. NPA has always been in the vanguard of everything. A port community should be one that shares virtually everything, but it is now becoming only NPA carrying everything, and we are grateful to the Managing Director for not changing in that trajectory.
“Soon, this place would transform into one of the most welcoming arenas for the seafarers visiting. They would have opportunity to get in touch with their families, by the time we set up the communication gadgets that would allow them speak directly to their families back at home.
“Remember that NPA is not their employers, but we are only giving them a feeling of being human. We have been groping for assistance for so long but I have faith that someone would eventually come and assist us one day and Bello-Koko has just accepted to do that and we are grateful to him.”
While speaking on the benefits of Nigeria having a befitting Seafarers Centre, he said that this would further lead to removal of the War Risk Insurance Premiums usually placed on seafarers calling at Nigerian ports.
“Some of the Seafarers, when they are coming to places like Nigeria, they usually take war Risk Insurance Premiums on them as if they are going to the warfront, with this, there would not be such things again, and at the level of IMO, we would go with our head high, that we are one of the most welcoming ports of the world, when we say we want to seat in the Council, they would agree that indeed, Nigeria is a maritime nation.
“Bello-Koko management is getting it right; he is interpreting our dreams of what a modern port should look like” Sarumi said