Why Eastern Ports Are Not Fully Functional – NPA Boss, Koko
The Acting Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mohammed Koko, has explained the reason why Eastern Ports are not fully functional in the country.
According to him, the security and geographical limitations in the Eas are the major reasons behind the slow pace od operation at the eastern ports.
Mohammed Koko made the submission when he appeared before the House Committee on Customs.
He said: “The eastern ports have geographical limitations. They have some of the longest channels that exist in Nigeria. They are not near the ocean, and because of that location and the insecurity in that part of the country, it makes it more expensive for shipping companies to come into those ports. We have also given concessions to shipping lines and we are hoping that will encourage the shipping companies to come to those ports. We have encouraged the use of flat bottom because of the draft issue at those ports.
”Don’t forget, NPA cannot decide for importer where he takes his cargoes. Studies have shown that between 60 to 70 percent of cargoes being imported is mostly being used in the southern part of the country, that is industries and so on. You don’t expect the importer that is importing his raw material to be used in Lagos or Ibadan to take his cargo to the eastern part of the country.
“The second issue is security, while the ports in the west operate for 24 hours, in the east, that is Rivers, Calabar and Delta state are operating 10 hours, at a certain time, the Pilot will not be able to take the vessel into or outside the port. Delta port has other issues, there is an NNPC pipeline that is buried let’s say 7 meters, so you cannot dredge lower than that debt. There is a discussion between the NPA and NNPC to find a way to relocate that pipeline.”