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NPA canvasses conference on maritime safety, security



Habib Abdullahi

THE Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Habib Abdullahi has called   for the urgent convocation of a national conference on the delineation of functions amongst  agencies of government, responsible for maritime safety and security.

According to Abdullahi, the conference, which he said was long overdue, should be tripartite in nature with the active participation of the Marine Police, the Nigerian Navy and the Nigerian Maritime Administration & Safety Agency (NIMASA).

Explaining that NPA would be willing to fully facilitate the hosting of the proposed tripartite conference, Abdullahi explained that the proposed conference should be able to harness all the problems arising from the discharge of the safety and security responsibilities by the various government agencies and proffer solutions to them.

Speaking in Lagos when when he received the Assistant Inspector General of Police, Maritime Police command, Lagos Force Headquarters Annex, Assistant Inspector General (AIG) of Police, Kalafite Helen Adeyemi,who paid him a courtesy call as part of her familiarization visit to police establishments and key stakeholders in the Western Ports Command, Lagos. Abdullahi said the conference was overdue.

According to Abdullahi, the conference, which should be holding within the shortest possible time should be able to harmonise and streamline the responsibilities of the various government agencies, with a view to removing duplication and conflict of roles as well as map out strategies on inter-agency complimentary efforts.

He commended the Federal Government for according special attention to the Maritime Police Department of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF), with the appointment of seasoned police officers as the AIG as well as the appointment of Commissioners to head the Western and Eastern Zones of the Port Police Commands in Lagos and Port Harcourt respectively.

With these appointments, he said  the Federal Government has continued to accord Maritime policing its rightful place in the scheme of things, pointing out  that the nation’s maritime sector remains a significant sector of the economy after oil and therefore deserves all the security and safety surveillance.

Speaking earlier, AIG Kalafide explained that she was in the Managing Director’s office to solicit for greater cooperation in the discharge of her assignment and for the success of the newly established office.

Meanwhile, Abdullahi has pledged to give all the needed support to the Nigerian Automotive Council (NAC) to ensure the full and successful implementation of the new Federal Government automotive policy.

Speaking when he received the Director General of  NAC, Aminu Jalal, who paid him a courtesy call, Abdullahi implored stakeholders in the nation’s maritime sector to cooperate with the council in the discharge of its mandate.

A press statement issued by NPA’s Assistant General Manager (Public Affairs), Musa IIiya, quoted Abdullahi as saying NPA would on its part make necessary consultations both within and outside the Authority to identify how to make the work of the council easier and achievable in the nation’s sea ports.

He commended the passion and zeal of the council staff in the discharge of their assignment since the promulgation of the new national automobile policy, urging them not to relent even in the face of criticisms by some “uniformed interests” who are doing because of their selfish interest and not in the national interest.

Abdullahi said: “We are seeing and reading in the media all that you have been doing in the Council.  I must commend your zeal and the passion of your staff to achieve your new mandate.  I urge you not to relent.  Criticisms will come, both informed and the uninformed ones.  Just remain focus and know how to handle them in the national interest” he said.

Earlier, Jalal according to the statement told the Managing Director that considering the role of the Authority in the nation maritime sector, the Council needs the support of the Authority to fully implement some aspects of the new national automobile policy.
He said the Council would need regular information on vehicle importation into the country as a major requirement of the national automobile policy.

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