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NPA: Mohammed Bello Koko -Champion Newspapers 2022 ‘Maritime Icon of the Year ‘

.Showcases strong leadership, integrity, transparency in the nation’s ports

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One federal government agency that has made the nation proud and contributed immensely to the economic and social development of the country is the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA under the leadership of Mohammed Bello Koko Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the Authority.


Mohammed Bello Koko is clearly one of the Chief Executive Officers in Nigeria that has distinguished himself  not only as a dynamic business administrator, innovative manager, and technocrat but also shown a high degree of integrity and transparency in both private and public affairs.


His ingenious, creative, pragmatic and resilient approach to leadership has brought a lot of transformation to the NPA which has continued to surmount some of the known challenges that have made the nation’s ports largely inefficient over the years, which include infrastructure shortcomings, policy and regulatory inconsistencies, overlapping functions, and duplication of roles among ministries, departments and agencies operating at the ports and high incidence of infractions.


Since his assumption of office  Bello Koko, a  financial expert, technocrat and seasoned professional has put in place policies and strategies that helped transformed NPA and increased its revenue base as one of the foremost government agency. Indeed, he has demonstrated passion, dedication, competence, commitment and dynamism required to build a leading port in the world today.’’


No wonder he is today celebrated as the  recipient of Champion Newspapers 2022 ‘Maritime Icon of the Year Award’.


Mohammed Bello Koko was born on 25th March 1969 in Koko-Besse Local Government Area of Kebbi State. He attended and completed his secondary school education at the Federal Government College Sokoto in 1986. He then proceeded to the Usmanu Danfodio University, Sokoto for his bachelor of science (B.Sc.) degree in Management Studies and Master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA) in 1992 and 1995 respectively.

Imbued by his penchant for continuous learning, he proceeded further to the Harvard Kennedy School, USA where he bagged an Executive Certificate in Public Leadership.

Bello Koko started his career with FSB International Bank Plc from the year 1996 to 2004 and functioned across several strategic portfolios including Banking operations, Credit-Risk Management, Treasury Operations, Retail banking and Corporate Marketing that found him in charge of Energy sector and Public Sector, thus responsible for managing accounts of several multinational oil and Gas companies, Public sector relationships.

He joined Zenith International Bank Plc in the year 2005 where he grew at various times to be Branch ahead, zonal Head Public Sector and also Large Corporates from where his exceptional contribution to the bank’s globally referenced profitability and balance sheet in the period 2005 to 2015 earned him numerous awards in the bank and a spot in the bank’s Executive Management Team as Deputy General Manager and Zonal Head.


In the year 2016, Mohammed Bello Koko was appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari as Executive Director Finance and Administration of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), a role he held with distinction till May 2021, when he was appointed Acting Managing Director.


His sterling performance as acting Managing Director evidenced by plugging of income leakages, unprecedented growth in revenue and improved operational efficiencies that led to significant increase in container traffic to Onne Port and the demonstrated resolve to open up the other Eastern Ports of Warri, Calabar and Rivers convinced President Muhammadu Buhari to confirm Koko as substantive Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the NPA on the 15th of February, 2022.


Bello Koko who is a fellow of both the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN) and the Institute of Strategic Management (ISMN), is also member of the Nigerian Institute of Management (NIM) and has attended several domestic and international trainings.

Below are the  Productivity and Performance Highlights of Mohammed Bello Koko, Managing Director/CEO Nigerian Ports Authority:


  1. Unprecedented Revenue Generation and Remittance to CRF:

Keen on supporting the national economy Mohammed Bello Koko spearheaded the implementation of prudential initiatives that resulted in unprecedented revenue generation and remittances to Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) of the federation with revenues steadily growing from 317Billion in 2020 to 361Billion in 2022 and remittances progressively soaring from 80Billion in 2020 to 91Billion by financial year end 2022.

  1. Export Promotion/Ease of Doing Business/Employment Generation:

As a measure of support for the resolve of the Federal Government of Nigeria to diversify the national economy from being solely dependent on oil export to non-oil exports, the Authority driven by his vision undertook the following:

  1. Licensing of ten (10) Export Processing Terminals to facilitate exports at Nigerian Sea Ports. This is to provide a one-stop shop for export where quality control, cargo assessment by all government agencies and issuance of good-to-ship clearance will be obtained.
  2. Creating new businesses and attendant job opportunities such as the Barge Operations services which apart from reducing pressure on the roads has grown into a 2-Billion-naira annual generation business both from direct investment and accompanying externalities.
  3. Licensing of additional Truck parks to increase capacity of truck parks servicing the Ports.
  4. Significant reduction in truck turn-around time due to successful implementation of the E-Call Up System.
  5. Enforcement of Minimum Safety Standards on trucks which stipulates that all trucks accessing the Ports are inspected and issued safety certification.


  1. Positioning Nigeria for the Implementation of the Port Community System (PCS) & Aggressive Automation of Port Processes:
  2. Completed the 1st phase of consultancy for the Port Community System (PCS) under the technical guidance of the International Maritime Organization (IMO). The PCS will lay the groundwork for the National Single Window (NSW) which constitute the global benchmark of port efficiency
  3. Signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) for data digitalization and exchange for effective integration of Ports statistics with National Database.
  4. Upgrading of Website and Daily Shipping Position Portal.
  5. Automated Archiving / Records Management.
  6. Upgrading of the Authority’s Website ( to a real time fully interactive platform as well as upgrade of the Daily Shipping Position Portal to be more user-friendly.
  7. Engagement with the IMO on development of Port Community System pursuant to the IMO instrument on automation and digitalization of port processes.
  8. Award of consultancy for the deployment of Vessel Traffic Service (VTS); a maritime safety measure that equips with Domain Awareness Capability to enable us guide and provide safety information to vessels within our channels and ports approaches in line with the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) conventions.


  1. Improved Navigational Aids:
  2. Provision and installation of navigational Aid and Buoys for Warri and Calabar Pilotage Districts, for proper channel marking and route mapping.
  3. Acquisition of Harbour Crafts (Tugboats, Pilot Cutters, and Patrol Boats) to eliminate delays associated with berthing and sailing of vessels and improve efficiency at the Ports.
  4. Dry-docking of various marine crafts to increase the fleet of marine crafts available for vessel support operations.
  5. Enhanced Port Security:
  6. Procurement and deployment of Security Patrol Boats (SPBs) to all Pilotage Districts to address incessant attacks of vessels along the channels and at Ports’ waterfronts.
  7. Established a robust partnership with the EU-funded West and Central Africa Ports Security (WeCAPS) towards risk prevention, vulnerability assessment of port infrastructure, skills acquisition to port personnel to strengthen the security and safety of the Nigerian Ports.
  8. Standardization of Operational Procedures for Different Activities such as barging, private jetties, pilotage, vessel berthing/sailing etc.
  9. Significant reduction in the traffic gridlock along the main Port corridor and the internal access roads through enforcements, proper batching, continuous access control mechanisms and movement of cargo via barge operations.
  10. Provision of traffic surveillance motor cycles deployed to aid effective monitoring of Truck E-Call Up operation at Apapa/TCIPC/Ijora axis to ease free flow of traffic.
  11. Established a standing partnership with the Police high command resulting in the reduction of illegal checkpoints along the port corridor to stem abuse and extortion as well make traffic management more effective.


  1. Engineering Infrastructure/Operational Capacity Strengthening:


  1. Negotiated the necessary Public Private Partnership with AFRIEXIM and local banks required to fund the $800M USD-worth Authority-wide Ports rehabilitation.
  2. Reconstruction of the breakwaters in Warri.
  3. Creation of Forcados Signal Station to enable the Authority capture the movement of more Service Boats.
  4. Commencement and completion of bathymetric Survey for the dredging of Escravos Channels.
  5. Increase Container holding capacity at Rivers Port
  6. Upgrading of infrastructure at Terminal ‘B’, Berth 7 and 8, Onne Port Complex through PPP investment by Messrs WACT Nigeria Limited of above USD 110 Million over a period of two years.
  7. Secured approval for the construction of 6,000 metric tonnes Bitumen Tank in Rivers Port Complex to improve the company’s bitumen storage capacity which will ease their operations and have impact on the infrastructural development of the South-South.
  8. Approval for the Construction and Rehabilitation of Quay Infrastructure at Berth 15, Lagos Port Complex, Apapa.
  9. Approval for the Completion of Road Network for the integration of Berth 9,10, &11 at Federal Ocean Terminal, Onne Port.
  10. Approval for the construction and Rehabilitation of Control Towers at Lagos Port Complex and Tin Can Island Port.
  11. Approval for the Supply and Installation of Marine Fenders Authority wide. This is to boost the overall integrity of the quay facilities and serve as precautionary measure to prevent any form of accident arising from direct vessel impact on quay wall.
  12. Completion of Consultancy services for the shore protection and rehabilitation of the Escravos breakwaters.
  13. Survey and Mapping of Warri Pilotage District from Fairway Buoy-Warri-Sapele up to Koko Port to the prescribed standards of the UKHO Charts, which had been left unattended for decades.


  1. Employee Welfare& Training/Industrial Harmony:
  2. Increment in staff salaries that had stagnated for 15 years.
  3. Increase and prompt payment of pension and retirement benefits.
  4. Prompt promotion of eligible employees.
  5. Prompt response to demands and requests from maritime sector industrial unions (both in-house and external).
  6. Rehabilitation and equipment of Dockyard Training Institute Apapa geared towards availing a state-of-the-art training facility for staff, members of the port community and interested corporate organization. This is a cost-saving measure aimed at prudent management resources expended on external training facilities on the one hand and revenue generation through outsourcing of the facility to third party users on the other hand.


  1. Engagement with World Bank/IFC -:
  • For guidance on concession renewal and review negotiations.
  • On access to alternative sources of funding for Port Infrastructural Development
  • Tracer studies for implementation of previous initiatives.
  1. Corporate Social Responsibility & Responsiveness to the Operating Environment:
  • Provision of a well-equipped fully functional sport facility used by all primary and secondary schools in Surulere Local Government and environs.
  • Rehabilitation and Equipping of the general hospital in Apapa Local Government Area and Bonny.
  • Acquisition and mass distribution of sewing/grinding machines for empowerment of port host communities in Rivers, Calabar and Warri to boost MSME entrepreneurial capacity.
  • Sustained engagement with Ports host communities by the respective port managers.


  1. Organization-wide Reforms
  • Adjudged by the Bureau for Public Service Reforms (BPSR) as a level 5 “Platinum Level” Organization due to the current Management’s provision of an enabling environment for exceptionally high quality of work in all essential areas of responsibility, resulting in an overall quality of work that is superior, exceptional and unique.
  1. Fast Tracked Construction of Deep Seaport/Port Capacity Enhancement & Promoting National Preparedness for AfCFTA:


  1. Enlisted Nigeria in the league of countries with Deep Seaports by providing uncommon support and fast tracking the approval processes that culminated in the speedy designation of Lekki Deep Seaport as a Customs Wharf and subsequent commencement of operations in record time.
  2. Commissioning of actual work towards the 25-year Port Masterplan
  3. ISO Certification of Onne and Calabar Ports with all other ports at advanced stages of certification.


  1. Secured approval for the commencement of construction of Badagry Deep Seaport and providing technical guidance for the construction of more Deep Seaports.


  1. The fully automated Lekki Deep Seaport positions Nigeria to optimize opportunities inherent in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and win back transit cargo hitherto lost to our maritime neighbours.









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