ShareTweetEmail0sharesBy Shola Fadeyi Chief Akin Ricketts, NPA Board Chairman     The Chairman of the new Board of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) ,... NPA Board Will Improve Nigerian Ports Operations, Boost Capacity- Chairman

By Shola Fadeyi

chief akin ricketts

Chief Akin Ricketts, NPA Board Chairman



The Chairman of the new Board of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) , Chief Akin  Ricketts ,has pledged that members of the Board would improve on the operations of the Nigerian Ports, and provide solutions to the issues of capacity utilisation and evacuation corridors confronting the seaports.

He made the promise while responding, on behalf of his other members, to the remarks of the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, after he had  inaugurated the  Board in Abuja yesterday.

Ricketts said the major issues confronting our ports today are capacity utilisation and evacuation corridors, observing that while the Ports in the East were being grossly underutilised due to many factors, the efficiency of the Ports in Lagos ,was hampered by inadequate evacuation corridors.

He explained that the resultant effect, was congested roads, which ultimately hindered prompt service delivery, saying the Board intends to tackle this challenge head on, in conjunction with other stakeholders and management.

The NPA Chairman said that ,this would be done, with a view to ameliorating the sufferings of port users, and easing  business transaction  in the ports, as envisaged by the Federal Government.

The chairman disclosed that the Board would ensure, it gave every and any matter that came to its attention, the consideration it deserved, by dealing with it fairly and objectively, without favours or ill will.

He expressed appreciation to President Muammadu Buhari  for considering them worthy of the appointment, and assured  that they would be willing partners in the task of nation-building.

According to him, : “On behalf of my colleagues on the Board, I will like to assure Mr President, through you, the Minister, that we will do our utmost to ensure that his confidence in us is not misplaced and will not be abused.

“As a serious government on a national rescue mission, we assure you that we will immediately commence discharging our responsibility without hindrance.

“As an organisation that has been in existence since 1955, we are sure that NPA will have its share of challenges and issues that need to be resolved or needs immediate attention.We will do that in conjunction with the management and all relevant stakeholders.’’

He said that the Board would not consider itself an alternate management or be in competition with it but would collaborate to ensure the mission, vision and strategic objective of NPA were achieved.

Ricketts stated that the Board will create an atmosphere where employees will be given the opportunity to air their views, express dissent on any policy or action they feel strongly about ,and will ensure that this process is not unduly abused, as well as provide feedback mechanism  for major stakeholders and ports users, to enhance  service delivery, efficiency and capacity.

The Minister had earlier reminded the Board members that they should realize that they are not Management of NPA , but rather  The  Board , and as such , they must  work together with the management, urging the Chairman  to ensure that the inauguration covers members that are not present.

He said Nigeria  is facing  an unusual time, when it can’t afford to shut its seaports, but must   continue to operate ,so that  trade will progress , and people are able to feed, charging the Board, to make sure that,  trade is facilitated at the Ports.

Members of the Board include Mohammed Koko, Onari Brown, Sen. Binta Garba, Sen. John Udoidighe, Abdulwahab Adesina, Ghazali Moh’d, Mustapha Dutse and Prof. Idris Abubakar.

Ricketts was  a former Cross River State Commissioner for Information, while he  contested for the Senatorial seat of Cross River Central District during the last general elections.

The Ricketts have a long history with the Ports which dates back over a century. The rich history started from an African-American Missionary to the Congo, Rev. John Edward Ricketts, a black Baptist minister from Stewart Town, Jamaica, and who was born in 1857 in the Caribbean Island of Jamaica.