The Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Ms Hadiza Usman, has urged members of pilotage boards to see their appointment as a call to serve the nation.
Usman made the plea at the inauguration of the pilotage boards in Lagos.
Dr Sokonte Davies, the Executive Director, Marine and Operations of the Authority represented Usman at the occasion.
She also implored the new members to use their high professional skills and knowledge to improve pilotage services in the nation seaports in their areas of jurisdiction.
The pilotage boards inaugurated are those of Lagos, Warri, Bonny/ Port Harcourt and Calabar Port pilotage districts, as provided for by the Port Act with a life span of three years.
The managing director, in a statement issued by the Assistant General Manager, Corporate and Strategic Communications, Malam Isa Suwaid commended the members for their willingness to serve the nation.
She noted that their functions and responsibilities, as provided for in the Port Act, were crucial to the overall operations of the nation seaports in ensuring navigational safety and protection of the marine environment.
Usman said that NPA would provide all the necessary support and environment that would enable members of the boards to succeed in their assignments.
She further assured them that their recommendations and submissions shall always guide the management of NPA in ensuring navigational safety of the nation water channels.
The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, who inaugurated the board was however represented by the Director of Maritime Services, Alhaji Sani Galadanchi.
The minister said members of the boards were carefully selected on the basis of their professional qualifications and requisite experience.
He urged the members not betray the confidence reposed in them, stressing that much was expected from the boards reminding them the task before the board was not an easy one.
The minister,however, said he was optimistic that the board members would bring to bear their wealth of experience and expertise in discharging their duties as provided for under the Port Act.
Amaechi who recalled that the tenure of the last pilotage board lapsed in 2016, and that some of the responsibilities of the pilotage boards might have suffered due to lack of attention said quick steps would be taken to address such matters.
The minister said the functions of the boards include; the establishment of entry requirements for obtaining certificate or licence to perform pilotage services.
He also reminded members that enforcement of the maintenance of developed standards and specification were also parts of their functions.
Responding on behalf of other members Capt. Adewale Ishola, pledged the determination of the boards to live up to the expectations of the Authority in the discharge of their functions.