The Acting Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mr Mohammed Bello-Koko, has said that training and retraining of key actors is key to the development of the maritime sector in the country.
Bello-Koko stated this when Chief Segun Johnson, the outgoing Vice President of the Nigerian Institute of Shipping (NIS), visited him in Lagos on Wednesday, according to a statement by Ibrahim Nasiru, the General Manager, Corporate and Strategic Communications of NPA.
He said that the NPA training school would be reopened to give room for regular trainings, and promised to expidite work on the ongoing renovation at the school to meet modern demands.
He maintained that a functional training iinstitution was needed to boost manpower development and ease the difficulties stakeholders in the maritime industry were currently passing through.
Regretting that the school had been abandoned in the past, he said that modern facilities would be installed in the institution to meet current realities in the sector.
“The ongoing renovation of our training facility is a testament of our administration’s commitment to ensure that adequate and recurrent training is undertaken as, and when due by relevant workers in the maritime industry.
“We will soon reopen our training school to alleviate the difficulties hitherto faced by stakeholders in locating training facilities for manpower development and capacity building, and also save cost to the NPA.
“We want to assure industry players of our willingness to partner with them together boost the manpower and capacity building in the sector even as we are ready to reach out to other various training institutes for the development of appropriate training curriculum.
“We are proud of our workforce which can stand out anywhere in the world in the area of efficient delivery of port services,” he said.
Bello-Koko said he would engage the services of retired NPA staff members who had vast knowledge so as to actualise the dream of transforming the institute to a centre of skills and academic excellence.
The NPA boss also disclosed that the newly renovated Resource Centre had the capacity to accommodate over 250 participants at once.
He commended the outgoing NIS management for the immense contribution toward the development of the country’s maritime sector, adding that the synergy developed amongst relevant shipping agencies during their tenure in office was “worthwhile”.
Koko further assured his visitors of his administration’s openness to novel ideas that would bring about positive development in the sector, particularly in its drive toward achieving a hub status across the sub region.
Johnson thanked the Bello-Koko-led management for the positive contributions recorded since assumption of office, adding that the feats were undoubtedly phenomenal to the sub sector.
He applauded the existing collaborations with the NPA spanning over 25 years, especially in the area of capacity development.
Johnson craved stronger ties with NPA in the areas of research, development and consultancy.
“As a result of the efforts made by the NIS in the past, the University of Lagos has established a center for Multi modalism studies with emphasis on Rail, Road and Sea,” he said.