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NPA wins double @ Champion award; emerges Most Outstanding Government Agency of the year as Mohammed Bello Koko bags Most Outstanding Public Servant in 2023

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Champion Newspapers Limited has announced Nigerian Ports Authority(NPA) as winner of its  Most Oustanding Government Agency Award and the NPA Managing Director, Mohammed Bello Koko as the Most Outstanding Public Servant in 2023.

According to the Newspapers’ management, the NPA has shown commitment to its mission of delivering efficient port services in a safe, secure and customer-friendly environment and stood out to be maritime logistics hub for sustainable port services in Africa.

In a statement by the General Managing Director, Dr. Mrs Nwadiuto Iheakanwa, the ports agency was lauded for its unique initiatives in 2023 channelled toward enhancing the frontiers of trade facilitation which climaxed in the operationalization of the Lekki Deep Seaport.

Iheakanwa described Mohammed Koko as one of the leading Chief Executive Officers in Nigeria that have distinguished himself as a dynamic business administrator, innovative manager, and technocrat while exhibiting a high degree of integrity and transparency in both private and public affairs.

She said, “the twin award, a product of the painstaking selection of our board of editors, is our modest way of recognizing institutions and leaders in both public and private sectors of the economy who have paid a greater sacrifice in ensuring that the fundamental objectives and ideals of our nationhood are sustained.

“On all scores, our findings, largely corroborated by that of independent assessors, confirm that NPA under your management in the last four years has received fresh impetus due largely from your exemplary leadership skills, sustained its solid tradition of excellence and trajectory as an agency of first choice and agency that has made the country proud and contributed immensely to its economic and social development.

“Your 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 deficits, 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 your assumption of office, as a technocrat and seasoned professional, you have put in place policies and strategies that helped transformed NPA and increased its revenue base as one of the foremost government agency. Indeed you have demonstrated passion, dedication, competence, commitment and dynamism required to build a leading port in the world today.”

The Nigerian Ports Authority has recorded improved performances in its works which has remarkably boosted revenue generation and remittances to the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) of the Federation, with revenues steadily growing from N361billion in 2022 to N501billion as at December 2023; and remittances increasing from N93.4billion in 2022 to N131.2 billion by the end of 2023.

Taxes paid in to the federal account also rose at various times in the period under review up to $44million, $33.7million, N7.3Billion and N10.3billion respectively.

In response to the National exigency of strengthening the Naira by deepening Nigeria’s balance of trade through the promotion of exports especially non-oil exports, the NPA in the period under review licensed ten (10) Export Processing Terminals to facilitate exports, at Nigerian Sea Ports. This move which provided a one-stop shop for export processing where quality control, cargo assessment and statutory checks by all government agencies were carried out was geared towards eliminating all bureaucracy and attendant delays that hitherto undermined the competitiveness of Nigerian Exports in the International market place.

With this step, the numbers of Nigerian export laden containers moved from one hundred and fifty-six thousand, seven hundred and ninety (156,790) twenty foot equivalent units (TEUs) in 2022, to two hundred and twenty-six thousand, four hundred and fifty-six (226,456) TEUs in 2023.

Another notable achievement was growth in the number of ship calls from one thousand, nine hundred and ninety-seven (1,997) vessels in 2022 to two thousand, one hundred and seventy-nine (2,179) vessels by the end of 2023.

Further efforts were put into sustaining the eastern ports in 2023 with the completion of the 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 abandoned for decades.

With the intent to cater for maritime needs of Nigeria’s landlocked neighboring countries, and win back cargo hitherto lost to them, the NPA accelerated the Lekki Deep Sea Port which doubles as Nigeria’s first fully automated port at take-off processed Six Thousand and Seventy-Six (6,076) TEUs of transshipment cargo.

Movement of cargo by barge has greatly enhanced port-hinterland connectivity as evidenced by the meteoric rise in numbers from a total of 80,244 TEUs in 2022, which by 2023 had grown to 118,046 TEUs.

For efficient utilisation of the economic value of the Lekki Deep Seaport with its capacity to berth super post panamax vessels, the Authority in 2023 Acquired and deployed two units of first-of-its-kind in Africa Azimuth Stern Drive (ASD) 8213 model 80 Ton Bollard Pull Tugboats to enable the berthing of very large vessels of 300 metres LOA and above.

These and more made the government agency outstanding amongst others, deserving a classic recognition.

The grand ceremony for the presentation of the awards is slated for May 25, 2024 at Eko Hotels in Victoria Island, Lagos.

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