30th December, 2011
The Senate Committee on Marine Transport has assured that all its efforts will be geared toward ensuring that the two pending critical bills on the maritime sector, the Ports and Harbor Bill and the National Transport Commission Bill are passed into law.
The assurance was given in Lagos last week by the chairman of the committee, Senator Zaynab Kure during the committeeâ€™s oversight visit and tour of ports in Lagos.
Senator Kure assured the NPA that in passing the bills, the agency will be made the technical regulator of the port system while the place of a commercial regulator will also be created in order to address other issues especially as they relate to port charges and standardisation in pricing.
She explained that the visit was to get the committee acquainted with portsâ€™ activities and to verify the briefings it had received from the different parastatal heads and other maritime stakeholders and to further seek ways the committee and the National Assembly can assist in overcoming the challenges in the maritime sector.
“The National Assembly knows that NPA is better left as a technical operator of the maritime sector, while a commercial regulator would address other issues, this would make for a better and efficient ports administration. Thus, this committee as soon as possible will begin legislative work on the Ports and Harbours Bill and the National Transport Commission Bill”, she assured.
She cautioned the NPA to be more alive to some of its responsibilities which include adequate provision of security at the ports and the provision of channel depths in order to allow berthing of bigger vessels at the port, improvement of road, power and water and forming an adequate synergy with all stakeholders to ensure greater dividends to port users.