Lawyers task FG on development of seaports in Rivers
The Admiralty Lawyers Society of Nigeria (ALSN) has charged the Federal Government to facilitate the development of deep seaports, dry ports and the Port Harcourt port.
The call followed a few weeks after the Federal Government commenced the development of a deep seaport in Bonny Council Area of Rivers State.
Insisting that for the sea ports project to be achieved, insecurity on the nation’s waterways should be tackled headlong, the lawyers, who major on maritime issues, stressed the need for the government to adopt stiffer measures in fighting piracy.
National President of the Association, Angus Chukwuka, stated this when he led some post-graduate students of Maritime Law of the Rivers State University (RSU) on a visit to the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) in Port Harcourt at the weekend.
He charged the government to work towards ensuring more conducive atmosphere in the ports to attract increased patronage and boost trade activities at the Port Harcourt Port and others across the country.
“We urge the Federal Government to take the deep sea port and dry port more seriously, because the fact that we don’t have effective seaports is also worsening unemployment
“If we have deep sea port properly developed, it would address unemployment among the teaming youths. The youths engaged in armed-robbery and piracy could repent if they are meaningfully engaged. So, we seek timely and adequate development of deep seaports,” he said.
He further decried laxity in the maritime code, saying it was not sufficiently implemented in the country. Chukwuka argued that the implementation of the ISBS Code needed to be strictly enforced and adhered to, pointing out that other international security system and maritime nations were applying it and it was working for them.
While stressing the need for more competent hands in the security network of the ports, he pledged the association’s readiness to partner with the NPA and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to build the capacity of their staff to function more effectively.
He commended the Managing Director of NPA, Hadiza Bala Usman in repositioning the authority. Port Manager of the Rivers State Complex, Bello Abubakar, who was represented by the Traffic Manager at the Port Harcourt Port, Sylvester Egede, said developing additional ports in the country would generate employment.
Also, Managing Director, Bua Ports & Terminals Limited, Mohammed Ibrahim, said the company, which operators the Port Harcourt Port Terminal B was working with NPA to ensure that the port was opened for trade and business activities.
He identified undeveloped infrastructure, shallow water drafts, narrow channels and insecurity, as factors militating against maximum utilisation of the port.
No comments yet