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Minister of Transportation, Mr. Chibuike Rotimi Ameachi has disclosed that the Federal Government has activated the Nigerian Port Authority (NPA) to immediately embark on 24 hours ports operations across the nation’s seaports.
Giving the details at a trade forum between the NPA and delegation of the Miami Dade County, Florida, and Port Miami, USA in Lagos, the minister averred that the relationship between the NPA and Port Miami would help to build technical partnership, transfer of knowledge and further help to diversify the Nigerian economy.
Amaechi, represented by the Director of Marine services, Sani Umar Galandanci added that the new operations template will speed up ease of doing business at the ports.
Earlier in her address of welcome, the Managing Director of NPA, Hadiza Bala Usman, represented by the Executive Director Engineering and Technical services Prof. Idris Abubakar affirmed that the new relationship between NPA and Port Miami will definitely expand bilateral trade opportunities and enhance a greater opportunity that will be mutually beneficial to the two nations.
According to her, “the trade forum is an important means through which we can highlight the capabilities of our port system and diversity of trade”.
Making remarks at the event, His Imperial Majesty, Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi Ojaja II, the Ooni of Ife stated that it was fine to benchmark the collaboration between Nigeria and the port Miami in the areas trade facilitation and bilateral ties.
He pointed out that the ideals of African Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) need to be upheld in all ramification. The Ooni of Ife highlighted standardization and packaging as aspects that would aid comparative advantage to Nigerians in trade to the United States.
According to him, the Nigerian nation is blessed with vast mineral resources which would attract investment.
Amongst these are banana, pineapple and shea butter. His Imperial Majesty postulated that in the Gulf of Guinea, Nigeria, seats amidst multiple natural and mineral resources stressing that the alliances have to be strengthened to yield greater dividends.
In his own speech, the distinguished senator Ovie Omo – Agege who represented the National Assembly appreciated the management of NPA for facilitating the stakeholders Trade Forum with the Miami Dade office of Economic Development and International trade adding that it was in the interest of the nation to regularly engage and take proactive measures on existing and new investment opportunities.
Omo-Agege also added that the National Assembly would not fail to provide robust statutory frame works for the functioning of our governmental, corporate and social processes.
Also speaking at the event, the National President of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) Iyalode Alaba Lawson lauded NPA, asserting that the forum would greatly implore trade relations between Nigeria and the United States of America in general and Miami – Dade county in particular, adding that NACCIMA would promote and advocate a free – market economy of which international trade is a major component.
In her response, the leader of the delegation from the Miami Dade county and the Port Miami Audrey M. Edmonson expressed joy that a woman is at the helm of affairs in NPA, also affirming that Miami – Dade county and Port Miami are ready for business and investment from Nigerian.
Edmonson assured that everything would be done to ensure there is direct commercial flight between Miami and Lagos for fast facilitation of trade between the two great nations.
In his own contribution, the chief Executive officer (CEO) OF Miami port Juan Kuryla demonstrated how his port overcame congestion Challenges by investing in new facilities over the years through the Public Private Partnership.
The CEO of Port Miami assured all, that his port is looking forward to closer synergy from Ports across Africa, especially from the Lagos Ports whose relationship with them he said dates back to more than a decade of mutual association.