The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has solicited partnership with the media to positively project its activities, particularly at the Calabar Port to Nigerians and the world.
The NPA Calabar Port Manager, Chief Festus Olumati, said this in Calabar on Wednesday when he received the leadership of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Cross River State Council in his office.
According to him, the insinuation that Calabar Port is dead is not true.
He said that the port recently received a large vessel and is currently expecting more of such vessel.
The port manager noted that this was coming after three years, saying that efforts were being made to see that importers nearby patronised the port.
Olumati said, “You will recall that activities at the Calabar Port were boosted recently as a general cargo vessel berthed with 204 heavy-duty trucks, pipes and other containers.
“The port is still viable and of economic benefit to the state and to Nigeria and it is safe for berthing, hence the need for customers to patronise it to clear their general containers.
“The significance of the berthing of this vessel is to tell the world that Calabar port is active and working. The rumour going round that nothing is happening in Calabar Port is not true.”
Olumati said that some infrastructure was being put in place to ensure the safety of vessels and others patronising the port.
“We have installed 36 buoys to give proper direction to vessels coming into the port and also security boats and marine police have been approved for the port,” he stated.
Speaking on the need to patronise the port, the manager said that the management was talking with stakeholders.
“We have resumed discussions with importers in Aba, Nnewi, Anambra and others to make them understand why they should start patronising Calabar port.
“The Nigerian Export Processing Zone was built in Calabar because of this port and not because of Port Harcourt.
“It will make more meaning for importers around here to patronise Calabar port instead of Lagos or Port Harcourt,” he said.
On the dredging of the port, he said that it would resume once the issues around it were settled out of court.
Earlier, the NUJ Chairman, Mr. Gill Nsa, promised the management of the port that newsmen would be fair and just in their reportage of the port’s activities. (NAN)