Stop developing new ports, ex-Shippers council boss tells FG

Bisola David
Bisola David
Stop developing new ports, ex-Shippers council boss tells FG

A former executive secretary and chief executive officer of the Nigerian Shippers Council, Hassan Bello, has counselled the federal government against expanding the country’s port network without a clear objective.

According to The Punch, Bello stated at an event in Lagos on Tuesday that Nigerians ought to quit developing ports as constituency projects.

He emphasized that ports shouldn’t be constructed just for the sake of having them; rather, they should be created to be viable, competitive with other ports around the world in terms of infrastructure, and connected to several modes of transportation.

“The port is what it should be because of the cargoes that it attracts. It ought to be integrated. Not all ports should be constructed merely because we have water. Our ports must be efficient and must be competitive. You decide and have choices and design,” Bello said.

According to the former head of NSC, competition is essential to every country’s port growth.

According to him, ports need to be resourceful, effective, and independent of imports in order to assume that desired level.

“Port growth requires competition, but it appears that we lack it. A no-contact port needs to be effective, and our ports need to be intelligent.

“Any nation that tries to do that on its own would fail. Our ports are designed to keep receiving. Once we make our decision, the shipping issue will be resolved. Is it shipbuilding or ship repairs?” he added.

Bello cautioned that it should be left to the Federal Government to construct the necessary facilities for an effective port and admonished that it should be left to the private sector to run for a desired goal.

“The private sector should lead the nation’s shipping industry, but the government has a bigger role to play,” he said.

He attributed the stifled expansion in the transportation and maritime industries on the meddling of individuals who prioritize their personal gain over the good of the country.

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