Mr Jibril Buba retired recently, as the Tin Can Island Port Manager , but his legacy in NPA will continue to speak for him, according to SHOLA FADEYI ,in this write –up.
It is indeed not a surprise that Mr Jibril Buba , the former Port Manager of the Tin Can Island Port, of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) , who bowed out gracefully recently, after 35 years of meritorious and exemplary service, got a deluge of encomiums from the staffers of the Authority , when they organized a send forth party for him.
This is because , Buba merited all the praises showered on him, by the staff , for the fact that he did not only give his best in all the positions he served at the NPA , he was dedicated , patriotic and committed , while he contributed immensely to the growth and development of the Authority.
Buba , because of his management expertise, experience, in Port Traffic management and administration , was an asset to the NPA , as his wealth of knowledge likewise, made him to be a resource arsenal and a think tank, of sort ,for the authority , even before, he emerged as the Tin Can Port Manager.
Thus , it is in realization of his unalloyed stewardship and achievements that made the NPA management to promote him a step further to the cadre of an Assistant General Manager , as a reward , and a parting gift, from the Principal Manager that he was ,as the Port Manager , before he commenced his retirement from the Authority recently.
In all the positions he occupied , including being , the Traffic Manager, of Tin Can Island Port and Apapa Port , of course at different times, before rising to the post of Tin Can Port Manager , Buba , because of his very painstaking and thorough nature, left an imprint of hard work , and value added in all of them.
Litle wonder , that he left Tin Can Port , a lot better than he met it , within the about two years he spent on the position, as he eased the traffic bottlenecks , which had characterized the Access road to the Port and its gate , boosted handling of exports cargo through the Port as well ensured improvement of the operations of the Port generally.
A silent worker , but an excellent manager of men and materials, Buba , with the support of the youthful but energetic NPA Managing Director , Muhammed Bello Koko improved markedly on the operations of the Electronic Call up System at the Port ,allowing for smoother entry and exit of the trucks , while he effectively discharged the landlord and technical role of the Authority.
He also affected the Port positively in the areas of security, cleanliness , ensuring adequate monitoring of the activities of the terminals , in terms of the discharge of their roles ,proper lightning of the Port and the upgrading of its infrastructure and the improvement in the level of vessel turn- around time among other measures.
Global Rating for Tin Can Port
Due to the various measures Buba adopted to upgrade the performance of the Tin Can Port , it was not accidental that the World Bank in its annual global Container Port Performance Index (CPPI) ranking for 2022, rated Tin Can Island Port Complex as one of the best performing seaports in West and Central Africa.
The bank, then had rated Tin Can Port , ahead of ports of Duoala, Cameroon; Cotonou, Benin Republic; Lome, Togo; Tema, Ghana and Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire in an assessment conducted by a joint team from the Transport Global Practice of the Infrastructure Vice- Presidency at the World Bank and the Maritime, Trade and Supply Chain Division of S&P Global Market Intelligence.
Turn Around Time of Vessels
The Port had gotten , the very high ranking, as its key performance indicators , in most part, on a monthly basis, has been positive, since the Port Manager assumed office . He ensured that Turnaround time of vessels , measured in the number of days as well as , berth occupancy rate , measured in per centage improved consistently.
Safe Berthing / Vessels Pilotage Services
Because of the efficient security arrangement his management put in place , available records showed that vessels which have been calling at the Tin Can Island Port, have been doing so safely, berthing and sailing with minimal incidents.
Also, his management ensured that Vessels Pilotage Services operated on a -24 hourly basis, for berthing and sailing of vessels while the pilots are always readily available to berth and sail vessels on schedule putting safety into consideration.
The preference , which Buba placed on security and safety at the Port also made attacks on vessels that are berthed at the Port , incidents of stealing and pilfering of goods, to have reduced drastically .
This is because , he ensured that the number of Marine Police ,the rate at which they patrol the waters and the Berth areas within the Port and the number of patrol vans increased markedly , with a view to nipping such attacks on vessels in the bud.
Apart from making it compulsory for the security personnel to enforce means of identity before port users gain entry into the Port , he made it mandatory that only those who have genuine business to do, and who have been well scrutinized are allowed into the Port for security purpose.
Easing of Traffic
The traffic decongesting measures , he put in place on access road , leading to the Port and the second Gate as well as to the Port Terminal Multiservices Limited (PTML) , adjourning the Port, which has always been blocked, most of the time, particularly by trucks , made it possible for the place to be free , thus enhancing movement of trucks in and out of the Port.
Ban on Stuffing/Unstuffing on Roads
This, is due to the fact that the Port Management banned the practice of stuffing and unstuffing of containers on the access road , while it directed that NPA security personnel and the Police be stationed on the road to check such anomaly. The Port Management had also embarked on enlightenment and education for the truck drivers on the need to always ensure that they don’t repair their trucks on the road.
Electronic Call –up System
The very useful inputs of the Port Management towards the ongoing electronic call up system during his time as Port Manager , also made it impossible for the movement of the trucks to be orderly at the Port Gate .
Tidiness of Port
The feat he achieved on the clean state of the Port, has been said to be due to the resolve of his management for zero tolerance for a dirty environment, and the need to give a positive image to Nigeria before foreigners ,entering the country through the waters ,and due to his culture of ensuring that Port businesses are conducted in a clean environment.
Also, knowing the benefits of collaborations; he ensured that the Port management maintains a very cordial relationship with terminal operators, security agencies and all other port users.
Ease of Doing Biz/ Power Supply
His management , also improved the Ease of Doing Business in the port , through many ways, in line with the International Ship and Port Security (ISPS) Code requirement.
He likewise ensured constant power supply , while he encouraged the terminal operators do the same through the use of generators , particularly when there is no electricity from the public supply , thus ensuring that operations are not held up.
Marine function/Pilotage Services
As part of measures to ensure that the Nigerian Ports Authority continue to perform its own responsibility under the Concession Agreement, Buba ensured that Port provided marine services on behalf of NPA, through the provision of the necessary pilot cutters and boats among others
Landlord Technical Function
For purpose of seamless operations, he successfully carried out an effective co-ordination of all government agencies in the Port namely , Police, Custom, Immigration , ensured adequate collection of all government revenues from terminal operators and other port users, as well as carried out the enactment , monitoring and enforcing of Port regulations and bye-laws.
Undoubtedly , Buba gave his best in all the positions he occupied at the NPA , while he excelled as the Port Manager of the Tin Can Port , even with the challenge of infrastructure, such as the decaying quay apron, of course a capital project , which the management has been battling to combat , but for funding issue.
To further increase the quality of the Ports services , it would not be out of place if the NPA management would grant knowledgeable former personnel such as Buba the opportunity of being consultants to the Authority ,as a reward for their contributions as well as allowing , the organization the leeway, to still tap from their wealth of knowledge.