The Nigerian Port Authority (NPA) has reemphasized the strategic role of seaports in economic development.
NPA Managing Director of Hadiza Bala Usman stated this on Thursday in a paper presentation at the Nations Newspaper economic forum in Lagos.
According to her, ports function as gateways to international trade and are regarded as major accelerators of local economic development.
Usman said the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), the Netherlands has been able to sustain a relatively high economic growth rate because of the Port of Rotterdam, in spite of the intensely competitive environment in Europe.
She explained that the success of Singapore is equally attributed to the Port of Singapore which has developed a transport logistic centre and has successfully been able to attract foreign investment.
Part of her paper read: “It is thereby acknowledged that the maritime sector, an essential component of the transportation system is crucial for wealth creation. However, a port becomes an active wheel of an economy only if it is run efficiently. One of the key areas of efficiency that our ports require is the national single window. I am pleased to announce that the Authority and the Nigerian Customs service have concluded the operational model for establishing the National single window and will in the next few months commence with the public tender process of selecting the vendors that will deploy the required information technology infrastructure.
“Presently the function of a port is not only limited to the traditional activities but has expanded to a logistical platform. Ports not only perform the basic operations (embarking, disembarking and transferring of passengers and crew, loading, unloading and transhipment of cargo to and from the vessels, storage and warehousing of merchandise on land and stevedoring to and from vessels), they provide inland access and intermodal connections as well as complementary services to shipping carriers.