The Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority, Mohammed Bello-Koko has said that a minimum of 6,000 seafarers call at Nigerian ports monthly.
Bello-Koko said this on Wednesday in Apapa during the commissioning of the renovated Mission for Seafarers Centre NPA.
He explained that an estimated 4,000 foreign-flagged ships visit Nigerian shores annually.
“With an estimated number of 4,000 foreign-flagged ships visiting our shores annually, which implies that 300 vessels (or a minimum of 6,000 Seafarers) visit Nigerian ports every month, it has become expedient that we intensify our collaborations with global institutions like the MTS to encourage Shore Leave and Crew Change and of course reap the concomitant benefits for coastal tourism and the projection of positive image and reputation for our dear nation,” he said.
The NPA boss said that the country is witnessing improvement in inland traffic in the ports.
“Already, we are witnessing improvements in inland traffic to and from our ports. These, coupled with developments in intermodal transportation, as occasioned by our advancing rail system, are bound to encourage and stimulate immense opportunities in the maritime ecosystem,” he added.
Bello-Koko stressed on the need for the nation to take every opportunity to deepen the port’s competitiveness.
“It would be pertinent to mention that the combination of being a coastal nation and the sub-regional economic powerhouse as well as being the continent’s most populous nation with a youth population at about 60 percent, compels us to take advantage of every opportunity to deepen our port competitiveness and rating to attract necessary opportunities to cater to this growing demography,” he noted.