Hadiza Bala-Usman, the Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority, has urged West and Central Africa to ensure sustainable ports development with priority on safety and security initiatives.
The Managing Director made the call in a statement made available to newsmen in Lagos on Wednesday.
Bala-Usman, represented by the General Manager, Corporate and Strategic Communications, Olaseni Alakija, made this known during handing-over to the new Chief Project Officer of the Port Management Association of West and Central Africa, Roland Tantoh.
She said there was the need to articulate and refocus on environmental-related port activities in the sub-region and urged members of the association to increase resilience to develop and remain competitive in spite of COVID-19 setbacks.
She said: “PMAWCA should encourage member ports to provide needed support for one another and rally together to achieve the milestones that we otherwise could not achieve as individual ports.
“We also have to adopt policies that will increase the involvement of women in the maritime industry.”
While congratulating the chief project officer on his appointment, Bala-Usman encouraged him to continue the pursuit of collaboration among member ports toward the improvement of international best practices.
She said this could be done through information sharing, consolidation of partnerships, seeking expert assistance and funding as well as sharing of expert services in line with the objectives of the association.
The Managing Director also congratulated Esaie Afri Kouassi of the Port of SanPedro, Cote d’Ivoire for a successful six-year tenure as Chief Project Officer.
Also, the Secretary General of PMAWCA, Jean Marie-Koffi, commended the outgoing Chief Project Manager on his contributions in the last six years even as he welcomed the new one, calling for diligence.
The PMAWCA secretary-general also appreciated NPA and Nigerian Shippers’ Council for their support over the years, adding that they had played the role of good hosts by supporting PMAWCA’s projects.
Commenting, Kouassi appreciated his former colleagues and staff at the PMAWCA Secretariat, singling out one Mohammed (the oldest staff at the secretariat), who taught him how to live in Lagos, Nigeria.
Kouassi also thanked Michael Luguje, a former Secretary General of PMAWCA, who groomed him for the job and extolled the current Secretary General, Marie-Koffi, for his support during his administration.
Tantoh pledged to work diligently and maintain the work culture at PMAWCA.
Tantoh, who was from the Port of Douala, Cameroon, said he had promised the Douala Port Director that he would serve diligently and make Cameroon and PMAWCA proud of his services.
The event was also attended by the Consular-General of the Republic of Cameroon in Nigeria, Manga Bessem Elizabeth, representatives of NSC, NPA and delegation of the Republic of Cameroon.