Oyetola Commissions seven NPA Patrol Boats, Reassures of Raising $800m for Port Rehabilitation

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*ENHANCING MARITIME SECURITY:Honourable Minister of Marine & Blue Economy His Excellency Adegboyega Oyetola CON (Middle) with Managing Director Nigerian Ports Authority, Mohammed Bello Koko (2nd Right), Executive Director Finance & Admin Ms Vivian Richard Edet (1st Right) Executive Director Marine & Operations, Engr. Olalekan Badmus (2nd Left) and Engr. Executive Director Engineering & Technical Services, Engr. Ibrahim Abba Umar during the Commissioning of the Newly Acquired Security Patrol Boats of the NPA*

The Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola on Thursday commissioned seven recently procured patrol boats bought by Nigerian Ports Authority in Lagos and disclosed that $800m needed for rehabilitation of the nation’s ports is almost ready.

The minister also lauded management of the NPA for their commitment in promoting maritime security across the various ports in Nigeria

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Oyetola who described security as a very important aspect of the blue economy concept, expressed optimism that more strides would be achieved in the sector.

He added that efforts are in top Gear to make the nation’s ports rank amongst the best in the world in areas of efficiency and revenue collection for

He said “I commend the management of the NPA for taking the initiative to strengthen safety in the maritime space.

“Security is very important and we need to give it the kind of attention it deserves. We cannot be talking of trying to get the full potentials of the Blue Economy without strengthening the security aspect of our ports.
“I am delighted to be here and very much believe we are going to have more of these boats.

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“It is deliberate on the part of Mr. President to have created the Marine and Blue Economy ministry. Blue economy had always been there, but not as structured as to generate the kind of revenue a maritime nation like Nigeria should be earning.

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“So part of what we are trying to do is to first ensure maritime security. Secondly we will be talking of automation of the ports to make it more efficient. Just two weeks ago, I received the report of the consultant of the Port Community System. Part of that is to drive efficiency at our ports.

“Again, we are modernizing the ports. We want to be able to compete with any port in the world. We want to ensure that the vessel turn around time is reduced to four days as opposed to about six to 10 days that we currently have.

“We must commend Mr. President for taking the initiative of creating the Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy and for supporting us all the way.

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“I can tell you that the fund for the Port rehabilitation is almost ready and we are going to commence rehabilitation anytime from now.”

Also speaking during the patrol boats commissioning, the Managing Director of the NPA, Mohammed Bello-Koko explained that the procurement of the seven Security Patrol Boats was preceded by a robust needs assessment process undertaken by a highly experienced team drawn from the agency’s Security and Marine Operations Divisions and the Vessel Management Department, who were painstaking and followed through with the product output specification including necessary sea trials.

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In the words of the NPA MD, “This event today is another testament to our commitment to continuous improvement in the journey towards transforming our strategic intent of “becoming the maritime logistics hub for sustainable Ports services in Africa” from potential to actualities.

“Enhanced Maritime Safety, Security & Compliance to global acceptable standards” is one of Nigerian Ports Authority’s Deliverables under the Presidential Priorities of Federal Government of Nigeria.

“What we are witnessing today therefore, is pursuant to achieving these deliverables and aligns with the presidential directives regarding performance of MDAs.

“In addition to positioning us to fulfil the fundamental requirement of security which constitutes a critical success factor in fulfilling two crucial aspects of our post-concession statutory mandates of “regulating maritime business and promoting ports security and safe haven for ships” and “safeguarding and securing assets of the Authority while maintaining their optimal use”, the deployment of these state-of-the-art Security Patrol Boats takes us a notch higher in our compliance with the dictates of International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) code of the International Maritime Organization.

“I therefore want to on behalf of the Management and Staff of the Nigerian Ports Authority commend and appreciate our amiable Minister for his tireless endorsement of our efforts at enhancing the competitiveness of our Ports.

“Our profound appreciation also goes to our highly valued security partners; the Nigerian Navy, Nigeria Police Force, Nigerian Army, the DSS and the Lagos state government whose collaborations continue to enhance our ability to detect, deter and respond to security threats and incidents before they fester.

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“The procurement of the seven Security Patrol Boats we are commissioning today, was preceded by a robust needs assessment process undertaken by a highly experienced team drawn from our Security and Marine Operations Divisions and the Vessel Management Department, who were painstaking and followed through with the product output specification including necessary sea trials, and I will like to seize this moment to commend their professionalism and dedication to duty.

“The distinctive features and multiple functionalities of these marine crafts and the game changing effect they bring to bear on our security preparedness and capacity to respond to emergent threats are enormous. I have chosen to refrain from mentioning those superlatives here because of the security implication of doing so.

“However, I am especially delighted to say that these Security Patrol Boats positions us to achieve our set goal of driving increased vessel traffic to the Eastern Ports of Onne, Rivers, Warri and Calabar Port Complexes where four of the vessels to be commissioned today have been allocated.

“Although Onne Port has in recent witnessed increased vessel traffic, we cannot rest on our laurels. We will continue to push the advocacy and galvanize stakeholder opinion towards growing the fortunes of the Eastern Ports. Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, before I take my seat I will like to appreciate the goodwill of all stakeholders here present and to assure you of our commitment to continuous improvement.I thank you very much for your time and God bless “

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