By Chinonye Anyatonwu
Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA),Mohammed Bello Koko, Chairman, Mission to Seafarers (MTS),Chief Adebayo Sarumi, ED Finance and Admin. Adenrele S.Adesina, ED Marine and Operations, Hon. Onari Brown(middle),during the working visit of NPA Management to the Mission to seafarers (MTS) in Apapa, Lagos.
The former Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Chief Adebayo Sarumi, has applauded the present Managing Director of the NPA led by Engr. Mohammed Bello Koko and his management team for taking the port reform programmes to high heights.
Speaking during the facility tour of the Mission to Seafarers (MTS) in Apapa, Lagos organized by the NPA management team, Sarumi said the present management led by Bello-Koko has surpassed the vision and expectations of the nation’s seaports after the reform programme of 2006.
Sarumi who is currently the Chairman of the MTS advised the current management of the authority to continue the good job they have been doing in order to deliver a global competitive port system for the country.
In his words, “The Bello-Koko management of 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”.
Continuing, “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”.
Bello Koko had during the visit promised to rehabilitate the Centre, lamenting about the poor state of the facility.
He said that the state of the MTS was not befitting for the country considering that Nigeria is a maritime nation. He described the physical infrastructure as embarrassing, adding that it was not what he expected to see. He noted that seafarers were integral part of the country’s cargo supply chain, he said their welfare was very important.
The NPA boss said “We all know the relevance of the mission, they are to take relevant actions concerning the welfare of the seafarers, and their mental health, they have been doing quite a good job, in recent times, we have had discussions with them and we felt that there is need for the NPA to get involved in the renovation of this place.
“This is where sailors coming into Nigeria from other countries relax and spend a good time, but this is not befitting; “In Nigeria, the port community revolves around the Port Authority and probably a few stakeholders, so, we would take responsibility, the bulk stops here. “This place used to be one of the best in the world but today you can see the current state of it.
“What you are going to see is that NPA is coming onboard to ensure that this centre is renovated, we would give it a befitting look and the necessary ambience and conducive environment for seafarers coming into Nigeria, they would get the same service and attention that they get in other parts of the world.
“This would also help to increase the rating of our port, you shouldn’t come to Nigeria after staying thirty days on the vessel and still be forced to remain on the vessel for another four weeks, just because we do not have the necessary conducive environment. “You are going to see activities happening here very soon, NPA is going to give the necessary support to Mission to Seafarers Lagos”.
Sarumi had in response expressed delight over the promise by the NPA MD, saying the state of the Mission remains a global organization established in every country.
He commended the NPA management for the support it came to render to the Centre, adding that very soon the centre would be an arena for seafarers to visit.
Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA),Mohammed Bello Koko (5th left), Chairman, Mission to seafarers (MTS), Chief Adebayo Sarumi (6th left) and other senior officers of NPA and Seafarers during the working visit of NPA Management to the Mission to Seafarers (MTS) in Apapa
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