18th October, 2021
By Chiazo Ogbolu
Mohammed Bello-Koko, the acting Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority NPA, has made a facility tour of the rehabilitated Control Tower in Apapa.
According to him, the upgrade will position the ports on a competitive edge in the West and Central African sub-region.
Bello-Koko said it had become expedient for port facilities to be upgraded to impact positively on port operational efficiency.
He said that effective communication was an important variable for the efficient performance of the seaports.
“We aspire to be competitors in the sub-region. One of the ways to achieve this is by ensuring our facilities such as the Control Towers are up to date and upgraded to work with modern communication and radar systems.
“This will improve communication, reduce ship waiting time and further reduce the cost of doing business at our ports, he said.
On the welfare of the pilots, he said the NPA placed a premium on the comfort of ”this very valued category of staff of the Authority”.
“We are committed to the welfare of the pilots, matters concerning the pilots’ accommodation, medical care and recreational facilities at the rehabilitated nine-storey Control Towers are world-class.
“This comes with the provision of facilities such as sleeping quarters, gym, canteens, kitchens and meeting/ conference rooms for the pilots and other harbours staff,” he said.
In addition, Bello-Koko said that a second control tower at Tincan was also being upgraded to provide communication with ships using the VHF frequency.
He said that the rehabilitated control towers would also have updated radar and communication equipment that would enable communication between the ports in Lagos and Lekki deep seaport and Dangote refinery jetty.
NPA would deploy more marine equipment like pilot cutters and security patrol boats at various port locations to improve port efficiency and security around the ports.
“We will ensure that we engage you for optimal performance,” he stressed.
Thereafter, he called on all and sundry to partner the Authority in the auspicious task of hoisting the nation’s flag amongst the comity of nations with efficient ports in the world.