By Edeki Igafe
The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has said that no fewer than 200 vessels now berth in the Warri ports, Delta.
This was made known during a Stakeholders Forum held on Monday at the Warri Ports.
The forum was at the instance of the visiting Chairman, NPA Board of Directors, Mr Emmnauel Adesoye, who was on an on-the-spot assessment tour of the the port facilities.
The Managing Director of NPA, Hadiza Usman was represented at the event by Mr Rufai Mohammed.
Usman said the development had boost economic activities in Warri and attributed the feat to President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to dredging the escravos channel.
She said the Federal Government was committed to improving economic activities in the ports, adding that more dredging was being carried out to accommodate bigger vessels in the Warri ports.
“Only the regime of president Buhari has embarked on the dredging of the Warri ports,” Usman said.
She, however, appealed to stakeholders including host communities to continue to maintain the existing peace in the area.
Responding, Mr Adesoye, who had earlier toured the NPA facilities said there had been great improvement in the facilities compared to what he observed in 2016 when he last visited the port.
According to him, the purpose of the visit is to have an on-the-spot assessment of the progress made by the port since November 2016.
“The current challenge is about the issue of dredging the channels in the port, particularly the terminals.
“We are already taking action concerning it. So, there is no problem. No time frame, but we are on it,” Adesoye said.
He also expressed satisfaction at the improved security situation in the waterways, which according to him had led to more vessels berthing at the port.
“The number of ships has increased significantly and revenue has gone up.
“That is what happens when there is unity among stakeholders, management and the communities,” he said.
However, the stakeholders in their presentations, called for more security to enable them meet the global practice of 24 hours shipping activities as against the current 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. system.