The Acting Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mr Mohammed Bello-Koko, says skills acquisition and manpower development are among the main areas of focus for the authority in 2022.
Bello-Koko made this known during a courtesy visit to him by the executives of the Nigerian Institute of Shipping (NIS) in Lagos.
According to him, the authority already has a training institute that was abandoned but is being renovated for use again.
“The training institute should be able to train about 200 to 250 persons at any given time in different courses and we have asked our human resources department to come up with a curriculum for training.
“One of the things we observed in NPA is that they have one of the best trained set of staff and most of them believe in that knowledge.
“We want to encourage those that are about to leave and those that have left, the plan is to invite them to come in and train some of our colleagues.
“We have also written to some of the training institutes and we will reach out to you also and have advisory from you,” he said.
The NPA boss noted that the relationship between NPA and the institute needed to be strengthened.
He said that their collaboration would move the sector forward, irrespective of the fact that shipping and shipping lines are being monitored and regulated by the Nigerian Shippers Council.
“At the end of the day, NPA is at the top, middle and bottom of whatever happens in the maritime industry,” he said.
He pointed out that there was no flag carrying ship owned by Nigeria, but that did not mean that there would not be ways to control the actions and inactions of shipping lines and shipping activities.
“So your advice will be welcome at any given time, you don’t need an appointment, just call on us.
“We appreciate the relationship that we have had over time and I promise that we will do whatever we can to support you in anyway we can,” he said.
Mr Victor Ibharalu, Legal Adviser of NIS, noted that the institute believed strongly in capacity building and manpower development through training.
He said that this had actually endeared other professionals to see the institute as solution providers in terms of professionalism.
Ibharalu said that the NIS had been collaborating with the University of Lagos where they run different programmes related to ports administration and management.
“At this point in time, we believe that NIS will need more solid collaboration with NPA in terms of research and innovation, consultancy and others.
“This is because at the University of Lagos, we are pursuing what is called internationalisation, whereby we have a Memorandum of Understanding with large number of institutions especially in the UK, Canada and US,” he said.
Ibharalu said that nowadays there were talks about ICT application, coordinate and multimodal transportation and that was why university of Lagos had now grown beyond teaching ordinary transportation.
He said that they now had a centre for multimodal transport studies, whereby all aspects of transportation, rail, road would be taught so that there would be best use and optimisation of the system.
The Vice President of NIS, Mr Segun Elufioye-Johnson, urged the NPA management to also collaborate with the incoming executive of the institute.
He said that their own tenure was about to elapse. nan.