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NPA boss, Usman presents N233.8b 2017 budget of infrastructure renewal, revenue hauls

The managing director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Usman has presented a budget of N233.8 billion to the National Assembly for the 2017 fiscal year.

Presenting the estimates before the Chairman of House Committee on Ports Harbours and Waterways, Dr. Patrick Asadu, she assured to use the budget to turn things around at the ports and maritime industry.

Details show that the estimate tagged ‘Budget of infrastructure Renewal and Revenue Expansion’, is made up of capital expenditure of N142.2 billion representing about 55 per cent of the projected revenue, while the recurrent expenditure is N91.6 billion or 36 per cent of estimated revenue.

Analysts say this may be the first budget estimates that projected more expenditure on capital schemes than concurrent.

It would be recalled that NPA had earlier earmarked about N1.3 billion of 2017 budget for the purchase of boats with a view to tackling criminal activities at the waterways of the Lagos Ports Complex.

The provision was for the purchase of nine boats at the cost of N150 million per boat, adding that this will ensure that the port waterfronts were safe and secured. Bala-Usman also explained that pending the procurement, the agency will hire boats to patrol the waterfront in order to ensure the security of the area.

She averred that “We have also instituted a process where we are going to hire patrol that will be patrolling the waterfronts to ensure that there is security. We are also looking at how we can provide support to the marine Police, providing them with financial support to enhance existing patrol we have in the waterfront. We seek to comply with the International Ships and Ports Security, (ISPS) Code’.

The ISPS Code is an amendment to the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention on minimum security arrangements for ships, ports and government agencies and it prescribes responsibilities to governments, shipping companies, shipboard personnel, and port/facility personnel to ‘detect security threats and take preventative measures against security incidents affecting ships or port facilities used in international trade.’

Usman however, explained in an interview that the huge capital vote stemmed from the need to upgrade ageing facilities of the agency, saying “One of our key areas in the budget include infrastructure development by providing for dredging, and expanding our channel management. We are also looking at our jetty requirements in the Marina, Ikorodu, and other areas”.

In his remarks during the presentation, Asadu enjoined NPA to keep up the good work, especially with respect to modernising and reforming the port industry charging the agency to prioritise all the critical areas of concern in its budget.

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