The Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Habib Abdullahi has called for an improved economic cooperation that is 'mutually beneficial' between Nigeria and South Korea.
Abdullahi made the call on Monday while receiving the Consul General of the Republic of South Korea in Lagos, who paid him a courtesy visit.
The Managing Director noted that both countries have a lot to benefit from each other especially in the area of maritime trade and expressed optimism that Korean visit will not only bring more business enterprises to Nigeria but "also strengthen the existing business relationship between the two countries".
Speaking earlier the Consul General, Younghoan Lee said the visit was in appreciation for the tremendous support and cooperation his country had enjoyed from Nigeria over the years,
The Consul-General, according to a statement issued by NPA's General Manager (Public Affairs), Capt. Iheanacho Ebubeogu expressed satisfaction with services of the Authority, 'which he describes as meeting international standards.
According to the statement, Republic of Korea anticipates continuous cooperation between the two countries.
Meanwhile to tackle traffic gridlock along ports access roads in Lagos State, Abdullahi has called for the provision of adequate rail lines from the ports to major cities in Nigeria.
Addressing a stakeholder's forum comprising of Senate Committee on Marine and other stakeholders in Lagos, recently, Abdullahi described NPA as the most affected organisation, "We (NPA) are very eager to see that permanent solution is preferred to the problem".
He recalled that in the past, rail lines convey cargoes from the ports to other parts of the country, adding that the resuscitation of these services will further reduce the hardship being faced by commuters and other stakeholders.
According to Abdullahi, transportation of petroleum products by rail from the ports to the North, particularly Kano, which he witnessed as a youth no longer exist.
He called on relevant agencies to rise up to this challenge by reviving rail network in the country. While pledging the readiness of the Authority to complement the efforts of other agencies whose responsibilities it is to provide the needed facilities, Abdullahi suggested that petroleum products could also be transported through pipe from the ports to other destinations.
The Chairman of the committee and former Governor of Zamfara State, Senator Yerima Ahmed Sani explained that the committee embarked on the exercise as a result of the resolutions passed by the Senate expressing concern about the gridlock. He said the committee will not leave any stone unturned in ensuring that the problem of gridlock in Apapa is solved.
Sani called on all stakeholders to come up with suggestions on how best to combat the menace, pointing out that whatever affects the efficiency of the port operations affect the Nation's economy.