Bala Usman charge pilotage board members on call to serve

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Matthew Otoijagha

The Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Hadiza Bala Usman has charged members of the newly inaugurated pilotage boards to see their appointments as call to serve the nation.

Usman charged the new appointees to use their professional skills and knowledge to improve pilotage services in the nation’s seaports within the areas of their jurisdictions.

The Pilotage Boards inaugurated were those of Lagos, Warri, Bonny/Port Harcourt and Calabar Port pilotage districts, as provided for by the Port Act. Each board appointment will subsist for three years.

While appreciating the appointees for accepting to serve on the boards, she said their functions and responsibilities, as provided for in the Port Act, are crucial to the overall operation of the nation’s seaports in ensuring navigational safety and protection of the marine environment.

Speaking through the Executive Director, Marine and Operations of the Authority, Dr. Sokonte Davies after the inauguration of the board by the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi; Usman said NPA would provide necessary support and enabling environment for the boards to succeed in their assignments.

She assured members of the boards that their recommendations and submissions would guide the NPA management in ensuring navigational safety in accordance with international best practice.

Earlier while inaugurating the board, the Minister of Transportation, represented by the Director of Maritime Services, Sani Galadanchi said the members of the boards were carefully selected on the basis of their professional qualifications and experiences. “We trust that you will bring to bear your wealth of experience and expertise to discharge your duties as provided under the Port Act.”

Recalling that the tenure of the last pilotage boards elapsed in 2016, the Minister said some of the boards’ responsibilities may have suffered lack of attention, expressing the hope that with their inauguration, quick steps will be taken to address all such matters.

The functions of the pilotage boards include the establishment of entry requirement for obtaining certificate or license in order to perform pilotage services, enforcement of the maintenance of developed standards and specification.

Responding on behalf of other members of the pilotage boards, a former President of the Nigerian Association of Master Mariner, Capt. Adewale Ishola, pledged the determination of boards to live up to expectations in the discharge of their functions in accordance with the provisions of the Port Act.

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