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NPA advocates deployment of flat bottom vessel in low draught channels


Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala Usman

The Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Hadiza Bala Usman has advocated the deployment of Flat Bottom Vessels (FBV) in channels with low draught in the nation’s seaports.

Specifically, Usman said the use of the FBV in some shallow draught channels would serve as a workable solution for the draught limitations in some channels especially in Calabar and Warri.

She recalled that it was joyful that a flat bottom 200 meter long and 61,000MT heavy vessel FBV, berthed last year in Calabar Port despite the draft limitations of the channel. This, she explained goes to show that such vessels can navigate in such shallow channels.

The NPA boss, who made this remarks while receiving members of the Nigerian Chamber of Shipping at NPA Headquarters in Lagos, appealed to stakeholders in the nation’s maritime sector to devise ways of collaborating with the Authority to see the presence of more FBV in such channels considering their comparative advantage.

While assuring that NPA would be very willing to midwife and facilitate any proposal, which would help make the new arrangement possible, Usman expressed the strong conviction that with the cooperation of stakeholders, the proposal on the FBV is realisable.

President of the Chamber, Andy Isichei had noted that shallowness of some sections of the channels is of concern to members of the Chamber and said the FBV should be encouraged in such channels.

However, the Authority has also pledged to would make adequate provision in the 2018 budget to meet some of the urgent requirements and needs of the University of Lagos Community under its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative.

Usman, during a courtesy visit by the management of the university led by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, said the University of Lagos deserves to be assisted in the CSR initiative considering the deplorable condition of its amenities and as one of the premier universities in the country.

Ogundipe had earlier appealed to the management of NPA to intervene in the rehabilitation and reconstruction of some dilapidated structures in the College of Medicine and supply of portable water for the use of the University Community, through the CSR initiative of the Authority.

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