Nigerian Ports Authority Emphasizes Compulsory Vessel Pilotage Regime to Boost Efficiency in Oil and Gas Sectors

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Mohammed Bello-Koko, the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), has highlighted the significance of the compulsory vessel pilotage regime in ensuring efficiency and supporting the oil, gas, and allied sectors. Speaking at a forum organized by the Lagos Chambers of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Bello-Koko emphasized the role of pilotage, towage, and mooring services in supporting the oil industry, especially in a post-subsidy removal regime. The NPA has invested in berthing facilities and equipment to enhance operations across various pilotage districts.

Key Points:

  1. Compulsory Vessel Pilotage Regime:
    • Bello-Koko stressed the importance of the NPA’s compulsory vessel pilotage regime in promoting efficiency and supporting the oil, gas, and related sectors.
    • Pilotage, towage, and mooring services are identified as key areas of support for the oil industry.
  2. Investments in Berthing Facilities:
    • The NPA has invested significantly in providing berthing facilities directly for ships, collaborating with critical government and non-government stakeholders such as the Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL).
  3. Equipment Investment:
    • The NPA has continually invested in equipment to support its operations across various pilotage districts.
    • The acquisition of two units of 80 Bollard Pull Tugs is highlighted to support operations at Dangote and Pinnacle Oil, with plans for additional units in the future.
  4. Dredging Campaigns:
    • Dredging campaigns are regularly undertaken, particularly in Lagos, where the NPA has a joint venture relationship with the Lagos Channel Management (LCM) and Bonny Channel Management for the Bonny/Port Harcourt axis.
    • Efforts are being made to address issues such as collapsed breakwater moles causing siltation into the Escravos Channel.
  5. Presidential Directive for Calabar Channel Management:
    • A presidential directive has suspended court cases involving parties in the Calabar Channel Management, facilitating the joint venture relationship and addressing cargo volume restrictions.
  6. Tariff and Payment Issues:
    • Study groups have been commissioned to examine tariff on ship/harbour dues and the issue of payment in foreign currency.
    • Dredging costs, quay wall strengthening, and other services offered by the NPA are denominated in US Dollars.
  7. Port Rehabilitation Cost:
    • The current port rehabilitation, estimated to cost N1 billion, is part of the NPA’s ongoing efforts to enhance infrastructure.

Conclusion: The emphasis on the compulsory vessel pilotage regime by the Managing Director of the NPA underscores the authority’s commitment to efficient operations in the oil, gas, and allied sectors. The investments in berthing facilities, equipment, dredging campaigns, and collaborative efforts with stakeholders reflect the NPA’s dedication to supporting maritime activities and facilitating economic growth in Nigeria. The ongoing initiatives and focus on infrastructure improvement align with the broader goals of enhancing port operations and ensuring seamless importation of petroleum products.

TDL

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