Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, has confirmed the actual situation of Calabar channel, noting that there is an ongoing administrative inquiry.
The Managing Director, NPA, Malam Habib Abdullahi, who disclosed this, said gridlock around the ports areas would soon disappear, as management is working towards a nationwide linkage of ports with rail lines, so as to permanently de-congest the ports.
Affirming that there was a joint venture agreement between the NPA and another consortium to form the Calabar Channel Company, CCC, the managing director said there was a ground breaking ceremony last year in respect of the CCC.
“There is presently an administrative enquiry,” Abdullahi, who was represented by the General Manager, Public Affairs, Capt Iheanacho Ebubeogu, said, noting that the enquiry was a normal process in view of a change in baton at the federal level,.
Abdullahi disclosed that management had already improved on the rail tracks in both Lagos and Port Harcourt ports, even as genuine brainstorming was ongoing towards linking Tin Can Island port with rail, adding that a consultant is already studying the possibility of effecting the linkage between Apapa and Tin Can port.
On a happy note, he expressed satisfaction that studies had affirmed a high possibility of establishing the linkage, as well as the cost benefit of the vision; stressing that NPA would not shirk in its responsibility of ensuring a functional port system in view of its position as a technical regulator.
He, however, noted the necessity of bonded terminal operators and terminal operators to become more dynamic and proactive in their overall marketing and handling of cargo, especially in the need to acquire modern cargo handling equipment to facilitate easy handling of all types of vessels including bigger ocean going vessels that call at the ports.
“Except the terminal operators deploy the right cargo handling equipment for every vessel, they will not be able to take all vessels that call at the port and even if they do, their performance won’t be perfect,” he said, noting that modern handling equipment ensures faster and more efficient cargo handling.
He assured that the authority would leave no stone unturned in guaranteeing deeper depth of channels in view of the increasing trading of bigger vessels, now calling at the ports.