Home Maritime Domain Awareness: NPA Commissions Control Towers For Apapa, Tin-Can Ports

Domain Awareness: NPA Commissions Control Towers For Apapa, Tin-Can Ports

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The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), has commissioned two refurbished Control Towers at Apapa and Tin-Can Ports on Thursday.

The renovated Control Towers will improve vessel traffic management, give navigation assistance to ships calling Nigerian ports, advance visibility as well as safety and security of ships on Nigerian ports.

Mohammed Bello-Koko, the managing director of the NPA, said at the commissioning in Lagos on Thursday, that having a good control tower enables a maritime nation to give emergency response to ships, enhance communication with ships at berth, enable resource management and disaster risk mitigation at the port.

“The commissioning of these control towers signposts our unwavering commitment towards improving operational efficiency through aggressive infrastructure and equipment renewal. Safety and security constitute critical operational preconditions necessary for the actualisation of our strategic intent of becoming the maritime logistics hub for sustainable port services in Africa, which is why we placed a high priority on putting in place a modern control tower of this nature in order enhance our domain awareness capability,” he said.

The NPA boss said the NPA under his management decided to invest so much in making the control towers state-of-the-art and well-equipped edifice to equip the Authority’s well-trained marine talents with the tools and comfort required to deliver efficient services to its stakeholders.

“Sustainably providing efficient port service in a safe, secure, and customer-friendly environment requires that we are up to date in terms of skill and equipment, and we are resolved to continually equip and re-equip this facility while training and re-training its users to be best-in-class,” Bello-Koko said.

The NPA boss said the Authority is working in partnership with the Nigerian Navy, to rehabilitate and re-equipped its signal stations located near the naval base in order to improve communication between laden ships and Nigerian ports.

He said that the NPA is also working with the NLNG Ship Management Limited to provide a Vessel Tracking System that will ensure improved operational efficiency.

He further said that the NPA has constructed a building to provide operational comfort for government agencies that operate within the port for both Tin-Can and Apapa.

“The commissioning of this communication and data-generating facility which enhances our capacity to collate, organise and distribute vessel data with relevant stakeholders in a consistent format is timely, as it is coming at a time when the series of efforts geared towards having a Port Community System (PCS) necessary to making our ports more competitive and attractive to greater vessel traffic, are beginning to crystallise,” he said.

He however implored all users of the facility to make the best use of it in order to commensurate value for money spent.

“There is a pressing need to deepen our maintenance culture. The sustainability of investments such as this rests heavily on how well we maintain them which we are committed to do,” Bello-Koko added.

Earlier, Onari Brown, executive director, Marine and Operations of NPA, applauded the renovation of the building, warning that it should not be turned into a residential building.

“This building is strictly a work place. It should not be turned into personal or private use. To Harbor Master and Signal Men, this is not a residential building. It is for work and it’s mainly for those on duty and those who work here,” he said.

On his part, Daniel Hosea, Harbour Master of Apapa Port, who commended the NPA management for the ability to train new Master Mariners within a short period, said the control tower is the first point of contact between the destination port and the vessels coming into the port.

He said the communication facilities in the tower enable the harbour master to share safety information along the channel with the ship captains to enable safe navigation of ships.

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