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Minister Urges Douala Port Operators To Modernise Operations 

By Francis Tim Mbom

The Minister of Transport, Prof. Robert Nkili, has urged the group of port operators at the Douala Seaport known as ‘Port Synthèse’ to modernise port activities in order to guarantee better performance, growth and competiveness within the sub-region.

The Minister was speaking in Limbe on May 8 while opening the fifth General Assembly and an extra-ordinary General Assembly of Port Synthèse.

Among the Minister’s recommendations were that Synthèse should strive towards greater efficiency and for the group members to eschew working for their own personal interests and rather invest their energies more for the general interest of the group and the countries concerned.

The Douala Port is the main import and export terminal for goods to and from Cameroon, Chad and the Central African Republic. But complaints of delays in offloading goods at the port due to a myriad of difficulties have, over the years, been worrying businesspersons and consumers. 

Among the major headaches of the Douala Port is the shallowness of the Wouri estuary which does not allow big cargo ships to get close to the harbour without being towed. Besides, goods are targets of thieves. 

However, the President of the Port Synthèse, also the General Manager of the Douala Ports Authority, Emanuel Etoundi Oyono, said measures have already been taken to salvage the Douala Port from most of these problems.

He said a Chinese company has been contracted to carry out dredging and clearing of sand deposits at the Port.

Oyono said infra-red security cameras will be installed to guarantee greater security of goods. He averred that public toilets will be built while other measures will be taken to facilitate the easy evacuation of goods from the Douala Port.

Earlier in his speech, the Transport Minister noted that for the past 20 years, there has been a remarkable improvement in efforts being employed to ease movement of goods at the Douala Port.

The Media and Communication Officer of Port Synthèse, Nchechuma Banla, said the outfit is a port platform of importers, exporters, transporters of goods and so many other actors. 

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