By Kenneth Jukpor
The Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Ms Hadiza Bala-Usman has stressed the need for West and Central Africa to ensure sustainable ports development with priority on safety and security initiatives.
Bala-Usman who was speaking during the hand-over ceremony of the Chief Project Officer of the Port Management Association of West and Central Africa (PMAWCA) yesterday, noted that there is a need to articulate and refocus on environmental related port activities in the sub-region.
The NPA boss was represented by the Authority’s General Manager, Corporate and Strategic Communications, Mr. Olaseni Alakija, also stressed the need for members of the association to increase resilience to develop and remain competitive in spite of COVID-19 setbacks.
“PMAWCA should encourage member ports to provide needed support for one another and rally together to achieve the milestones that we otherwise could not achieve as individual ports. We also have to adopt policies that will increase the involvement of women in the maritime industry,” NPA boss said.
While congratulating the new Chief Project Officer, Mr. Tantoh Roland on his appointment, she encouraged him to continue the pursuit of collaboration amongst member ports, towards the improvement of international best practices through information sharing, consolidation of partnerships, seeking expert assistance and funding as well as sharing of expert services in line with the objectives of the Association.
The NPA Managing Director also congratulated Mr. Esaie Afri Kouassi of the Port of SanPedro, Cote d’Ivoire for a successful six-year tenure as Chief Project Officer.
Also speaking at the event, the Secretary General of PMAWCA, Mr. Jean Marie-Koffi commended the outgoing Chief Project Manager on his contributions in the last six years even as he welcomed the new one, stressing the place of diligence.
The PMAWCA Secretary-General also appreciated NPA and Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) for their support over the years, adding that they have played the role of a good host nation by supporting PMAWCA’s projects.
In his comments, Mr. Afri Kouassi appreciated his former colleagues and staff at the PMAWCA Secretariat, singling out one Mohammed (the oldest staff at the Secretariat) who taught him how to live in Lagos, Nigeria.
Afri also thanked Mr. Michael Luguje, a former Secretary General of PMAWCA who groomed him for the job and extolled the current Secretary General, Marie-Koffi for his support during his administration.
The new Chief Project Officer, Mr. Tantoh Kwalar Roland pledged to work diligently and maintain the work culture at PMAWCA.
Mr. Tantoh, who is from the Port of Douala, Cameroon, revealed that he has promised the Douala Port Director that he would serve diligently and make Cameroon and PMAWCA proud of his services.
The event was also graced by the Consular General of the Republic of Cameroon in Nigeria, Mrs. Manga Bessem Elizabeth, representatives of Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC), Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and delegation of the Republic of Cameroon.