Anything Less Than World Class Service Is Not Acceptable- Bala- Usman | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Anything Less Than World Class Service Is Not Acceptable- Bala- Usman

NPA
Posted: Jul 27, 2016 at 5:19 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

 

The new Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Ms Hadiza Usman has vowed to take the authority to higher level saying that anything less than upgrading it to a world class status was not acceptable.

According  to her, the new management will strive for enhanced operational efficiency for improved revenue generation and inflows into the national treasury.

Usman made her position known last week during the handover ceremony where she finally took over the helms of affairs from the immediate past  Managing Director, Malam Habib Abdullahi.

She noted that the ports are critical arteries of the economy adding that it was her  duty with members of her management  to ensure that the operators deliver ports services in line with the standards deserved in the 21st century.

Usman pointed out that the new management would support President Muhammadu Buhari’s agenda of economic diversity.

“We will listen to our customers, importers and exporters and other agencies working in the ports to improve on our service delivery to the nation.

“Anything less than world class service is simply not acceptable. Attaining such height is the mission to which we can all subscribe.

“As the team leader, I have come to add my best efforts to yours so that we can collectively achieve result for our industry.

“We must work as a team, pursuing common goals with professionalism and diligence,” she said, adding  that the new management would give priority to  investments in primary equipment and infrastructure and services with commitment to fulfilling the authority’s  concession agreement to hasten clearance of imports and exports from the ports.

The new MD explained that collectively, the hard work of staff would reposition NPA as a modern agency.

“To function as regulator, all of us at NPA must be committed to the highest standards of performance. Let us uphold the most diligent work ethics in our individual beats as well as collective undertaking to achieve result.

“Everyone at the NPA has a role in promoting best practices in upholding good governance, standards and delivering quality services.

“We would jointly work hard with integrity and zero-tolerance for corruption.

As the new management settles, we would be listening to your concerns and suggestions as we navigate the best options for effectively discharging the NPA’s mandate.

“I hope and I believe we would jointly work together as one family to achieve our mandate,” she said.

The immediate past MD, Habib Abdullahi,  said that since July 2012, when the management came on board, it had recorded modest achievements.

He explained that the NPA under his leadership was able to achieve automation of operational processes, infrastructural development, Green field and brown field developments and building a strong port community system.

Abdullahi further explained that the management under his watch built strong human resources through training and retraining.

According to him, “In five years’ time, more than 50 per cent of the top managers will be out of service and presently they are on the average 55 years old. These are from senior managers to general managers and this is quite challenging”.

He urged the new NPA management to come up with succession scheme to ensure that the younger ones take over.

Abdullahi said that his administration was proud of putting in place the Command, Control and Intelligence Unit, adding that the administration also installed the e-payment system.

He added that his administration automated the payment systems to create room for transparency.“We also automated the Ship Entry Notice to create room for transparency”.

The former MD emphasised  that his administration integrated NPA’s operations with other stakeholders like the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to serve as a platform to block all revenue leakages.

“We also dredged and maintained the water channels for smooth navigation because the deeper the channels, the bigger the vessels that will come in. Nearly 60 per cent of our revenue goes into dredging and we tried as much as possible to buy tug boats,” he said.

He said that there had been improved port operations and cargo throughput as well as deepening of the port channels.

Abdullahi said “Nigeria is the only port in West Africa receiving big WAFMAX vessels”.

He continued: “We have improved wreck removal operations as well as human and vehicular traffic and we made available 24-hour operations at the ports”.

He noted that his administration moved toward encouraging non-oil exports to see how Nigeria could explore the possibilities of exports, recalling that NPA management sent a letter to the Ministry of Solid Minerals to explore the possibility of exporting solid minerals.

“Over 80 per cent of containers that leave this country leave empty. NPA is partnering with the Nigerian Export Promotion Council to ensure the containers does not leave empty. With the new set of management, I am sure you will come up with fresh ideas that will move the industry forward,” he said.

Meanwhile, the newly-appointed Executive Director in charge of Marine and Operations at the NPA; Dr Davis Sokonte has expressed willingness to work effectively in line with the mission of the new leadership led by Ms  Balla-Usman. He however appealed to the media to balance their stories on the activities of the management at all times.   “We are here for service to this nation. This is the gateway to the national economy and we are assuring you that we are going to be very good gate keepers.

 

“The Managing Director as far as I know her, you must have heard of her achievements when she was in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). So, we are assured that we have somebody, who knows what the challenge is, who knows what to do in the new environment.  We are certain that by the Grace of God, we are going to achieve results. We are expecting all of you to cooperate with us,” he said.

 

Ms Usman added that anything less than world class services would be unacceptable. “Change can be difficult but when change is properly handled, which I believe this team will do, is going to be very pleasurable.  “We expect solidarity from you and we believe that with our solidarity and your own solidarity, we shall move the nation forward. We know that the press has a lot to do whether to sustain us or to breakdown. We believe whatever you want, before you write, try to get our own side of the story.  Do not run to town without getting our own side of the story because you want to meet the deadline.