Warri Port is still receiving cargo ships despite the current state of Escravos breakwaters, the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), has said.
Escravos breakwaters, which prevent siltation from entering the channels leading to Warri Port, collapsed decades ago, thereby allowing siltation to enter the channel.
As a result, Mohammed Bello-Koko, managing director of the NPA, said the authority has concluded the survey and mapping of the channel and is at the conclusive stages of securing relevant approvals to fund the reconstruction of Escravos breakwaters.
He said the NPA has put measures in place to ensure the safe berthing of vessels to facilitate trade.
While assuring stakeholders doing business in the Warri Pilotage of navigational safety, Bello-Koko said the Authority is working assiduously under the guidance of the Federal Ministry of Transportation to sustainably and comprehensively address the challenges of all Delta Ports,
“We have put measures in place to ensure nothing impedes business continuity for all those operating within our safety and security rules,” he said.
The NPA is also giving up-to-date local and international training, simulation and manoeuvrability competence in order to build a highly experienced team of pilots in the NPA to ensure zero incidences of vessels running aground.
It enabled the safe berthing of MT Zonda and MT Stellar and outbound vessel MT Duke, MT Vardar and MT Igbinosa on Friday 14 July 2023 despite six vessels at anchorage outbound and inbound for Bonny Island, Koko and Escravos.
Recall that the Authority recently procured and installed adequate buoys for Warri, realigned the entrance buoys, docked and reclassified vessels, and stipulated frequent simulation training and retraining for all the pilotage crew to enable them to respond to the exigencies of the channel.
It said the occasionally reported incidences of vessels running aground cannot impede the channel as they are vessels operating illegally without NPA Marine Pilots on board, and they ran aground only because they veered off the channel and safety-marked areas due to incompetence.
Meanwhile, to enhance its domain awareness capability to detect and frontally keep illegal vessels at bay, the Authority recently awarded consultancy for the installation of Vessel Traffic Services (VTS) across all its port locations, and the first phase is already completed.
Also, it recently acquired and deployed security patrol boats and intensified its collaborations with relevant security agencies to stem the activities of such illegal vessels whose activities result in such breaches.