The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), has proposed and defended a budget of ₦202 billion it intends to spend for the coming year 2020.
NPA Managing Director, Hadiza Bala Usman, while defending the budget before the House of Representatives Committee on Ports and Harbours, in Abuja, said the agency is earmarking a total of ₦108.94 billion for capital projects in 2020.
She noted that capital projects would gulp N108.94 billion, while ₦93.64 billion will go for operating expenses.
In the current financial year, she said the Authority is targeting revenue of about N276.75 billion from its operations.
NPA’s total expenditure for 2019 is estimated at N229.91billion, made up of N110.71 billion for operating expenses; N52.13 billion for overhead costs; N58.8 billion for pension cost and N119.21 billion for capital expenditure.
She also said NPA plans to remit about N20.62 billion into the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) from its projected 2019 operating surplus of N25.77 billion.
Meanwhile, Bala-Usman has called for sustained efforts to maximize opportunities that abound in the maritime sub-sector through entrepreneurship.
Speaking at the second edition of the Nigeria and Entrepreneurship Summit and Honors (NESH) Maritime Roundtable, in Lagos, She said, “the nation’s maritime sub sector can be a notable contributor to the efforts at poverty reduction, creation of wealth, promotion of skills acquisition and encouragement of entrepreneurship,”
She noted that the sector has “the potential of contributing at least 10 percent of Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in no distant future, because Nigeria has the biggest market in Africa.”
The summit discussions centered on strategic exploitation and harnessing of vast opportunities that abound in the maritime domain, and envisaged contributions to the nation’s GDP thereby reducing dependence on the petroleum sector.
Bala Usman added that, “Nigeria has a vast inland waterway resource estimated at about 3,000 km that can support a vibrant inter-reginal trade. The country is also advantageously located on the coastline corridors of the Gulf of Guinea and the Bight of Benin and has eight littoral states coupled with a growing population and huge market that counters the capacity to stimulate substantial domestic tonnage.”
She however stressed the need to strengthen requisite skills for greater professionalism through funding and capacity building that would drive the implementation of the abundant Maritime resources in Nigeria.
She also noted that the Authority is in collaboration with Federal Mistry of Works and Housing (FMWH), and the Nigerian Railway Corporation, to increase the latter’s market share in the wheel of cargo evacuation from the ports.
In doing this, she advocates critical traffic management framework, collaboration with Inland Container Depots (ICDs) like that of Kaduna for swift cargo evacuation to the northern hinterlands.
Also, the deployment of modern technology tools like Revenue and Invoice Management System (RIMS), and the much-expected Single Window for real time swift cargo release processes are in progress.
The NPA equally encourages stakeholders in the areas of traffic management frameworks for stemming the gridlock across board, automated truck management system exemplified by holding bay with an efficient call-up system.
She called for effective management of the nation’s Greenfields, which are expected to attract Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs), and generate more revenue while entrenching the tenets of Private Public Partnership (PPP).
Usman stressed the need for the utilization of modern navigational infrastructure for Health, Safety, and Security of the Port environment for efficient Marine services in line with global best practice.