Nigeria’s ports are a gateway into the global economy, and as Nigeria's government aims to diversify its economy and lessen the country's dependence on oil revenue, the need for economic, efficient and reliable maritime ports is becoming increasingly urgent.

Ultimately, an attractive and productive port environment is crucial for the growth of Nigeria’s economy and the promotion of trade and other non-oil economic activities. However, Nigeria’s ports are notorious for their infrastructure shortcomings, policy and regulatory inconsistencies, and widespread corruption, and – instead of encouraging economic growth – present an obstacle to the country’s development (LCCI, 10.2016).

The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) is the government parastatal responsible for managing the country’s seaports, through which more than 75% of the country’s trade passes (Forbes, 15.05.2017). It is also largely through the activities of the NPA, that Nigeria’s Ministry of Transport realises the second largest source of government revenue (OrleanInvest, 13.02.2014). But as one of the most lucrative of Nigeria’s federal parastatals, the NPA is widely regarded as one where management irregularities and questionable practices have become deeply entrenched in its operations (Dawodu.com, 05.03.2005).

Nevertheless, with combating corruption a key priority for President Muhammadu Buhari, his choice of Hadiza Bala-Usman to head the NPA appears to have signalled the intentions of his administration to finally tackle corruption in this parastatal. If this is the case, this move will ostensibly (and inevitably) improve the overall efficiency of port operations across Nigeria, which in turn will increase the country’s ability to attract maritime traffic. The ultimate pay out: encouraging and diversifying trade, attracting more foreign investment, and facilitating economic growth.