By Abubakar Yusuf, Abuja.
Alhaji Mohamed Bello- Koko is the newly appointed Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, after acting for some months before his confirmation by the federal government.
It was no longer news that our nations seaports was bedevilled with myriads of sharp practices from the activities of the criminal elements to congestion which had given ways to the unfortunate situations.
Therefore, achieving the desired results that will boost the country’s economy and at the same time Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product GDP , concerted efforts must be put in place not to only block leakages but secure the environment along with decongestion.
Koko, the new helmsman, conversant with these negative threats, made alot of transformation agenda while in the acting capacity towards his confirmation as substantive Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority NPA within few months in office, that returned one of the highest revenue generating outlets not only secured and decongested, but profitability.
These positive stead was achieved through the reorientation of security department, partnerships with security agencies and Lagos state government, the host state of the nations largest seaports.
Aside gridlock which was the major contributory factor to congestion and paved way to criminal elements in the nations seaports to thrive, the new leadership in earnest move introduced “Electronic Truck Booking” ETO in 2021, a major decisions that led to solving all other impending issues that bedevilled the smooth operation of Nigeria’s seaports.
This development had put a halt to indiscriminate parkings of lories under the guise of waiting endlessly to lift cargoes from the ports, but strictly on the schedule and guaranteed easy access to the port in liaison with Lagos state government.
The introduction and rejigged “Standard Operating Procedure” SOP to riders of motorbikes whose daily assignments is to monitor and report security issues and avoid congestion of the ports and the roads leading to the ports, logistics, as well as technical supports to enhance traffic monitoring.
The new Management’s decisions under Koko brought to the barest minimum and end to traffic gridlock, paved way for port decongestion, both at the Lagos port and Tincan Island.
It also had multiplier positive effects on the expected revenue being generated on daily basis, as it also served as complimentary roles towards the new electronic truck booking ETO ,through accountability, transparency into the services of the nations seaports.
With the introduction of mobile motorbikes and well trained security personnel, without hesitation enhanced safety and security of the two nations seaports that was hitherto a haven for criminal elements and traffic congestion.
The new innovations powered by the new leadership under Koko, evacuation of cargoes from terminal to hinterlands, travel time and ease of doing business that had become the cynosure of port’s activities, became a thing of the past within the short period of time with significant improvement.
The introduction of motorbikes manned by security department and personnel and call up system for trucks became a major solutions from the usual hustle and bustle Ikorodu road into Apapa port.
These policy was also successful through the improved traffic from Ijora, Sifax, Inland container, Mr Biggs area, to Apapa and Tincan Island port corridor, through a well thought out arrangements and partnerships with relevant stakeholders.
The online call up system, known as the “Electronics Call Up System” introduced for cargo trucks had eradicated traffic gridlock, ease frustrations of firms, persons doing legitimate businesses in the country’s seaports.
The new innovative measures adopted under the present dispensation eliminated all encumbrances and human interferences, that not only prevented free movement on of trade along access roads to Nigerians ports, but haven for criminal elements impinging legitimate businesses and entities as well as denying the port’s authority billions of revenue pilfering away on daily basis.
“ETO” the newly introduced call up system was another magic wand adopted by the new NPA leadership that had not only ensured early and timely cargo evacuation and delivery from our nations seaports, but ameliorated adjoining problems prevalent at Nigeria’s seaports.
It had also streamlined and reduced to the barest minimum multiple checkpoints and scaled down extortion and activities of port’s hounds of truckers in Tincan Island and Apapa ports.
The success story was as a result of continuous synergy with stakeholders like the host state, Lagos state and Police authority with a view to sustaining the laudable operation of adequate security of the nations seaports and encouraged the policy of decongestion adopted by the new Management, through online activities under Mohamed Bello- Koko.
The current achievements when sustained will pave way for genuine and accountable revenue being generated and will improved not only the internally generated revenue IGR of the organization, but will be a major contributor not limited to the economy, the GDP but federal purse for subsequent utilization to other sectors that will be better for the country.
Abubakar Yusuf writes from Abuja and can be reached on email@example.com.