….NPA calls for host community’s support***
…As BPE stresses need for full compliance***
The concessionaire of the Warri Port Terminal B, the Ocean and Cargo Terminal Services Limited, has finally taken possession of the terminal after a formal handing over by both the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE).
The handing over was done by the Managing Director, NPA, Hajia Hadiza Bala Usman, who was represented by the Executive Director, Marine and Operations, Dr. Sokonte Davies, and the Director General, BPE, Mr. Alex Okoh, with the NPA Managing Director urging the host communities to cooperate with the company to ensure its successful operation. The BPE however assured Nigeria that every operational activities would be strenuously scrutinize to ensure full compliance to terms and conditions of the concession.
Hadiza indicated: “It is our duty as NPA to achieve an efficient and profitable port management in the country. We are delighted that another milestone is recorded today with this hand over to Ocean and Cargo Terminal Services Limited, the winner of the competitive bidding process for the terminal.
“Be rest assured that NPA will provide the necessary support to help you settle down and operate successfully.
“Let me also use this opportunity to appeal to the host communities to support this company because the presence and smooth operations of this new business will greatly impact the local economy around here.”
On his own part, Mr. Alex Okoh described the bidding process that led to the concession has been very transparent, adding that the best bidder eventually emerged as the winner.
He further urged the concessionaire to abide by the terms of the contract agreement while reiterating the stance of BPE to monitor the company’s operations for strict agreement compliance.
“Port constitutes a strategic gateway to the country and the nation’s economic prosperity depends to a large extent on how efficient the maritime industry fares. That’s the major reason the industry has received a great attention from this administration”, Alex Okoh stated, stressing his belief that concessioning the port was the best option.
“We also recognized that port efficiency can best be achieved with the private sector involvement. That’s why we are delighted that this terminal will soon enjoy the level of efficiency that other concessioned terminals across the country have been exposed to over the years”, he said further.
Mr. Adekunle Oyinloye, Group Managing Director, SIFAX Group, the concessionaire’s lead partner, promised that the company will deliver on the mandate of running an efficient port that will be a pride of all Nigerians.
He anchored his confidence on the pedigree of the partners that has spanned over three decades in the maritime industry.
He pledged that areas like customer service, investment in human capital and equipment as well as partnership with regulatory agencies and other stakeholders will receive deserving attention by the company.
Dr. Taiwo Afolabi, Group Executive Vice Chairman, SIFAX Group, said the new business will not only stimulate economic activities in the local communities, but also contribute greatly to the country’s economic prosperity.