The Nigerian Ports Authority on Wednesday, 4th of May 2017 launched four newly acquired tugboats.
In a speech, the MD of NPA, Hadiza Bala Usman disclosed her pleasure as she referred to the feat as a milestone in NPA’s efforts toward improving Port Efficiency.
Below is the full speech:
SPEECH MADE BY THE MANAGING DIRECTOR, NIGERIAN PORTS AUTHORITY, HADIZA BALA USMAN ON THE OCCASION OF THE LAUNCH OF FOUR NEWLY ACQUIRED TUGBOATS ON WEDNESDAY, MAY 3RD, 2017 AT NPA DOCKYARD, APAPA, LAGOS.
Hon. Minister of Transportation , Right Hon. Rotimi Amaechi
The Board, Nigerian Ports Authority
Members of senate Committee on Marine Transport
Members House Committee on Harbours and waterways
Heads of Sister Agencies
Managing Directors of Terminal Operators
Managing Directors of Shipping companies
Other Maritime stakeholders
Members of the NPA Executive Management
Members of the NPA General Management
Gentlemen of the Press
Distinguish Ladies and Gentlemen
It gives me great pleasure to witness yet another milestone in our efforts toward improving Port Efficiency. The commissioning of four (4) Tug- boats acquired by the Nigerian Ports Authority to boost towage services is both significant and a clear indication of our commitment to provide world class services at the Ports.
You are all welcome to this historic event.
One of the key responsibilities of the Authority is to provide efficient management of the channels and ensure safety of navigation. NPA is fulfilling this obligation through its joint venture partnerships, which has profoundly improved and deepened our channels.
It is gratifying to note that Nigerian ports are now receiving larger vessels of 232.33 meters that carry up to 3500 TEUs, requiring 11.5 meters depth. In addition, WAFMAX, a 250 meters long vessel requiring 13.5 meters depth belonging to Maersk Shipping Line has commenced her call at Lagos Port.
However, it is equally important to note that improvement of the channel alone does not completely ensure safety of navigation. Deployment of appropriate marine crafts such as tugboats and pilot cutters also play very vital roles. The tugboats are needed to assist the vessels at the channel and to berth, while pilot cutters convey the pilots to the point where they take over piloting of vessels into the channel.
This ceremony is very crucial to us because it represents solution to the incessant challenge of inadequate tugboats. I must state with pride that this is the first time the Authority is acquiring and commissioning at the same time, four (4) new tugboats of this capacity. Each of the tug boats has 60 ton Bollard pull and can handle vessels of 200 meters and above, a first class rating in marine operations worldwide. These will be added to the existing fleet to complement them as part of our effort to provide enabling environment for smooth and efficient port services.
This development is a bold statement to the shipping community that the Authority is positioned to provide quick services and will not relent in its resolve to meet the ever growing and dynamic demands of shipping services.
In furtherance to achieving the Federal Government objective of diversifying the nation’s economy and in our determination to be the leading port in Africa, the NPA is committed to taking the necessary steps to achieve greater port operational efficiency. Our efforts are anchored on the need to deliver efficient port services in a safe, secure and customer friendly environment in line with international best practices.
I wish to seize this opportunity to reassure members of the shipping community of the NPA Management’s determination to move the nation’s sea ports to the next level of service standards. This, I believe cannot be attained without the support and unflinching goodwill of all maritime stakeholders. The continued support of all stakeholders is therefore solicited to enable the authority carry out its responsibility.
God bless you
See pictures of the launching: