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As a former Senator who had both the privilege and honour to chair the Senate Committee on Marine, I understand the key role of the maritime sector to our national growth; especially regarding the need to enhance the value system that could deliver the aspirations of the Federal Government to upscale our Ports services to global standard.
It was therefore a great pleasure to receive the new Head of APM Terminals, Mr. Klaus Laursen, in my office on Friday. Our discussions naturally touched on issues related to APM Terminals’ presence as one of the major Port Operators and also included strategies of enhancing our Port services to achieve maximum value for all stakeholders.
While I appreciate the visit of Mr. Klaus Laursen, it must be emphasized that our Maritime sector requires harmonious working relationship between the Federal Government and Ports operators, to guarantee our goal of promoting mutual economic growth of all stakeholders. Therefore, it is imperative that APM Terminals work to achieve service improvement within its terminals and according to the terms of its concession agreement.
At the meeting, I also informed the APM Terminals Head of the Federal Government ‘s decision to seek a Category C seat at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Council election in 2021, with the hope that we would be able to count on their support to achieve this initiative. Nigeria has contested this seat five times previously and lost, with the fifth time been in November 2019 where we lost by a single vote!!! We are working assiduously to bring that honour and glory back to the nation. Considering that 2 of every 3 cargoes that arrive in Africa, are destined for Nigeria, it is rather sad that we are not seated at the table with other major marine nations, where maritime issues, policies and decisions are taken and discussed. We are working towards 6th time lucky!
Mr. Klaus Laursen extended his company’s appreciation of the Federal Government; especially the collaboration between them and the Nigeria Ports Authority that facilitated the recent berth of the 300-meter container vessel for the first time in Nigeria. He further pledged that the APM Terminals group will work unremittingly to improve the logistics value chain as well as tap into the huge opportunities that abound in the country that will not only be to the benefit of the nation but also to the teeming number of hardworking Nigerians who will have increased opportunity to thrive and succeed in this field.
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