Jibril Buba’s Footprints In NPA, as Tin Can Island Port Manager

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Jibril Buba, Just Retired Port Manager , Tin Can Island Port., Lagos.

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.

 OPINION

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.

Merit

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.

Expert/ Experience

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.

Promotion

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.

Positions

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.

Achievements

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.

Security

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.

Enforcement

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.

Conclusion

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.