The management of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) is opening up new frontiers in the maritime sector with the United States of America.
The Managing Director of NPA, Mohammed Bello-koko, recently opened up discussions with Miami Dade County, in the State of Florida, to form fresh ties in this direction.
Through collaborative efforts of Bello-koko, Nigeria and Miami-Dade County in the State of Florida, United States of America have agreed to cooperate to develop relations in trade, maritime, aviation, and tourism/culture.
A trade delegation from Miami-Dade who are in Nigeria to explore the business opportunities and, being coordinated by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), met with the relevant Nigerian government officials in the sectors they are seeking mutually beneficial relationships.
Thus, they had discussions with the Minister of State, Transportation, Dr. Gbemi Saraki, the NPA MD/CEO, Mohammed Bello-Koko, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Goeofrey Onyeama, the Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investments, Amb. Maryam Ya. Katagun, the Federal Airports Authorly of Nigeria (FAAN), the Edo State Government, and the agencies under the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism led by the National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism (NIHOTOUR).
The leader of the delegation Mr. Jean Monestime, the Miami-Dade County Commissioner District 2 said there are several business and tourism opportunities Nigeria and Miami can benefit from.
“We are here to promote Miami-Dade County as a destination for trade, tourism, and bilateral exchanges in general. Success is actually won on a win-win relationship. We also invited the delegation of Nigeria to come to Miami and to propose anything” we can do together to deepen our relationship he said.
Speaking on the sideline, the MD/CEO NPA Mr. Mohammed Bello-Koko said the visit is also to deepen the memorandum of understanding the NPA signed with Miami-Dade in 20o1 on shipping cooperation.
“There was an MoU that was signed in 2001 and over time, we feel that relationship hasn’t been harnessed yet there are opportunities in it. The opportunities are in terms of learning, sharing knowledge, shipping, and other businesses” he explained.
“So, this mission has come for three reasons. They include, aviation, maritime and culture/ they have visited the ministry of culture and tourism, transportation, and aviation. We will implore how best to improve this relationship, and learning points for us all” he noted,
“In this sphere, we are looking at the opportunity to create a shipping route to Miami-Dade from Nigeria so we can ship directly to them. They are here to see the possibility of direct export and import to and from Miami-Dade.
It also means that there will be discussions with shipping lines, transportation agencies involved and terminal operators as well. So it’s a proposal that they have brought in and see best areas of cooperation” he explained further.
In his comments Oliver G. Gilbert, the Hon. Vice Chairman, Miami-Dade County said “Nigeria has wonderful exports that can come through Miami-Dade and access markets in South and Central America and the Caribbean as well.
Nigeria has the ability to attract people. We can actually have direct flights from Miami-Dade County to Nigeria. We can attract visitors here in Nigeria the rich culture of Nigeria.”