The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NLNG) has begun talks on the present restrictions in Bonny channel as a result of the movements of vessels belonging to the liquefied natural gas (LNG) manufacturer.
Not a few shipping firms using the Bonny channel had lodged complaints to the NPA that the movements of the NLNG vessels have hindered movements of their ships along the channel said to be second busiest in the country.
The shipping firms had alleged that the movements of the vessels belonging to the LNG manufacturer had led to long delays causing them huge cost in the process.
They alleged that apart from unnecessary loss of man hours, NLNG restrictions expose their ships to dangers of attacks from criminal elements along the axis.
Managing Director of NPA, Ms. Hadiza Bala Usman who dropped the hint in a stakeholders forum in the Rivers State capital, Port Harcourt recently explained that ongoing discussions with NLNG is expected to roll out modalities for the proposed dualisation, funding, Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), Erosion Control, among others.
Usman who represented by  NPA Executive Director, Finance and Administration, Mohammed Bello-Koko stated that all relevant stakeholders including government agencies will be carried along before a final decision is taken on the matter.
Also speaking, the Port Manager, Rivers Port Complex, Alhaji Abubarkar Umar reiterated the need for the expansion of the channel.
“The likelihood of port expansion for increase in productivity cannot be overemphasized. The Rivers Port Complex has the potential to serve as the hub centre of trans-shipment”, Umar said.
The Port Manager explained that other undeveloped areas that surround the Bonny River reclamation zone are suitable as “investors’ haven for cargo consolidation”.
According to him, the Brass LNG situated within the port’s jurisdiction is investor friendly, pointing out that it meet global requirement of liquefied natural gas.
Continuing, he said: “In furtherance to the Federal Government policy to boost and harness these resources, private sector investments would yield optimal and accruable revenue from oil and gas”.
He enjoined stakeholders to support ongoing development in the maritime industry just as he appealed to importers and exporters to patronise ports in the Eastern part of the county to decongest ports in Lagos.


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