The Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), on Sunday, disclosed that the Warri pilotage district is still receiving vessels despite the collapse of Escravos breakwater.
LEADERSHIP reports that the Escravos breakwaters constructed to prevent the siltation of the Warri channels had collapsed decades ago.
However, the management of NPA led by Mohammed Bello Koko, said the authority has concluded survey and mapping of the channel and at conclusive stages of securing relevant approvals for the best financing option to fund its reconstruction.
He stated that the NPA has also put mitigants in place to ensure safe berthing of legally operating vessels and as well facilitate trade facilitation.
Bello-Koko said, “While we are working assiduously under the guidance of the Ministry of Transportation and Federal Government 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”.
“The up-to-date local and international training, simulation and maneuverability competence building of the highly experienced pilots of the NPA has ensured zero incidence of vessels running aground and enabled the safe berthing on Friday 14th July, 2023 of inbound vessels MT Zonda and MT Stellar and outbound vessel MT Duke, MT Vardar and MT Igbinosa, with six vessels at anchorage outbound and inbound for Bonny Island, Koko and Escravos.”
He stated further stated that the vessels that the occasional reported incidences of vessels running aground cannot impede the channel because they operate illegally without NPA Marine Pilots onboard.
“Cognizant of peculiarities of the Warri channel, the authority had procured and installed adequate buoys for Warri, realigned the entrance buoys, docked and reclassified vessels, stipulated frequent simulation training and retraining for all the pilotage crew to enable them respond to the exigencies of the channel.
“The occasional reported incidences of vessels running aground cannot impede the channel as they are vessels operating illegally without NPA Marine Pilots onboard, and ran aground only because they veered off the channel and safety marked areas due to incompetence.”
“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.”
The authority, however, acquired and deployed security patrol boats and as well intensified collaborations with relevant security agencies to stem the activities of illegal vessels whose activities result in such breaches.
The MD also assured stakeholders with legitimate business at the Warri Pilotage of navigational safety despite the urgent need for the breakwater reconstruction.