Posted on October 30, 2023
The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), has disclosed that 4000 ocean going vessels visit the nation’s seaports annually.
Speaking in Lagos, at the commissioning of the Mission to Seafarers (MTS) centre in Lagos, the managing director of NPA, Mohammed Bello-Koko, said a minimum of 6,000 Seafarers visit the country’s seaports every month.
LEADERSHIP reports that with 6,000 Seafarers’ visiting every month, Nigeria seaports received over 72,000 seafarers annually.
According to Bello-Koko, it has become expedient that the authority intensify collaborations with global institutions like the MTS to encourage Shore Leave and Crew Change and to reap the benefits for coastal tourism.
He said, “the partnership with the Mission to Seafarers and consequent development of this Seafarers Centre, we are gathered here to commission, is a testament of relentless commitment to advancing the fortunes of maritime trade and unleashing fresh opportunities for growth and prosperity inherent in Nigeria’s blue economy.
“With an estimated number of 4,000 foreign flagged ships visiting our shores annually, which implies 300 vessels (or a minimum of 6,000 Seafarers) every month, it has become expedient that we intensify our collaborations with global institutions like the MTS to encourage Shore Leave and Crew Change and of course reap the concomitant benefits for coastal tourism and the projection of positive image and reputation for our dear nation.”
“Already, we are witnessing improvements of inland traffic to and from our ports. These, coupled with developments in intermodal transportation, as occasioned by our advancing rail system, are bound to encourage and stimulate immense opportunities in the maritime ecosystem.”
He, however, stated that being a coastal nation and the sub-regional economic powerhouse as well as the continent’s most populous nation, compelled Nigeria to take advantage of every opportunity to deepen its port competitiveness and rating.
Bello-Koko said seafarers are highly treasured assets in whom the Nigerian Ports Authority is well pleased, adding that the intervention was only one of many more to come in a not too distant future.
He, however, assured MTS of unwavering commitment of the authority to improving seafarers’ welfare in Nigeria.
“It would be pertinent to mention that the combination of being a coastal nation and the sub-regional economic powerhouse as well as being the continent’s most populous nation with a youth population at about 60 percent, compels us to take advantage of every opportunity to deepen our port competitiveness and rating to attract necessary opportunities to cater to this growing demography.
“I have said all of these to establish the irrefutable fact that our seafarers are our highly treasured assets in whom we are well pleased and very proud and this intervention is only one of many more to come in a not too distant future.
“Whilst assuring of the unwavering commitment of the Nigerian Ports Authority under the leadership and guidance of the Honourable of Marine and Blue Economy to the continuous improvement of the welfare of our seafarers.”