The Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala Usman, yesterday flagged off the first export consignment of manganese, a solid mineral resource, from the Ikorodu lighter Terminal.
Usman pointed out that the event was of huge economic advantage to the country and that using barges to ferry containers of solid mineral across the waters to the APM Terminal within Apapa Ports would reduce the pressure on roads and attendant costs to government.
According to her, the export of solid minerals would not only generate more non-oil revenue for the nation and provide employment opportunities but also demonstrated that the current initiatives by the federal government to diversify the economy’s base were yielding results.
While calling on stakeholders to embrace the Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement of the Federal Government to attract investments into key sectors of the economy, Usman explained that the flagging off of the solid minerals export clearly demonstrated that the efforts of the NPA’s management to comply with the government’s directives on the Ease of Doing Business at the nation’s sea ports were on course.
She also assured that NPA’s management would support private sector involvement in intermodal means of transportation.
“NPA is ready to partner with any agency or company which will give a pride of place to intermodal transport as the continuous reliance on our road is no longer feasible and should be discouraged’’, she said.
To encourage private sector investments in the intermodal transport system, the NPA boss said that the management would ensure the deployment of Standard Operational Procedures (SOPs) with a view to complying with international best practices.
In his remarks, the Chief Executive Officer of Connect Rail Services Limited (CRSL), Edeme Kelikume, who represented the service providers, commended the NPA’s role increating enabling environment for the take-off of the project.