Maritime

NPA: Hadiza to complete port concession agreements’ review in 3 months

EndSARS: El-Rufai visits Lagos, decries level of property destruction
Written by Maritime First

…As NARTO says Apapa gridlock now killing export trade***

The Vice President, International Africa Ports and Harbour (IAPH) and Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Ms Hadiza Bala-Usman, on Tuesday stated that the review of ports concessioning agreement would be completed within the next three months.

Hadiza indicated this during her paper presentation on “Ports Governance Models- Our Experience” at the ongoing First Regional Conference of IAPH in Abuja.

She acknowledged that with the Federal Government’s concession of the ports to private operators in 2006 in a bid to encourage Public Private Partnership and facilitate shipping business, Stakeholders, including the terminal operators and regulators have been clamouring for a review of the 12 year-old agreement, in a move to bridge loopholes in the existing agreement and enhance port operations.

She also confirmed that NPA was already meeting with the terminal operators to get their inputs on the review of the agreement.

“We have an inter-agency which has all the agencies of government that are part of the concessioning process.

“Also included in the review of the concession process are the Office of the Attorney-General, Bureau of Public Enterprises, Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission, Federal Ministry of Transportation, NPA and technical support from World Bank.

“Nigeria should expect a supplementary agreement that will be signed with the concessionaires,” Bala-Usman said, adding that there would be deliberate deployment of multi-modal transportation modes into all ports in Nigeria.

She highlighted that the mandate of the authority was focused on the business of carriers by land or sea, stevedore, wharfinger, warehouseman or lighterage man.

According to her, NPA also constructs and develops ports, docks, harbours, wharves, canals, water courses, embankments and jetties.

Bala-Usman said NPA could enter into agreement with any person for the operation of port facilities provided by the authority.

On the way forward for improved port operations, Bala-Usman said there was need for strategic decisions on the future of NPA as the ports landlord, while government should provide attractive conditions for direct foreign investments.

She equally stressed the need for the implementation of a 25-year Port Master Plan, massive investments in the upgrade of port infrastructure as well as digitalisation of ports operations in the country.

Meanwhile, the National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) on Tuesday expressed concern over the continuing Apapa gridlock, in Lagos, lamenting that the gridlock is now killing export trade ventures.

The Vice Chairman, Lagos State Chapter of NARTO Dry Cargo section, Mr Abdullahi Mohammed-Nura stated this in Lagos, adding that the situation was indeed, seriously sabotaging the call for Nigerians to embark on export trade.

Mohammed-Nura insisted that export bound produce get damaged on transit to Apapa, grieving that exporters were loosing fortunes to the inaccessible ports roads.

He recalled that 2017 witnessed a boom in produce export with many of the exporters smiling to the banks.

He said that the success recorded then inspired many people to borrow money to shore-up their business in order to make bigger impact on the global export trade in 2018.

“Most of them have totally lost their fortunes in transit.

“As a transporter, I interface with many of them and they keep lamenting on the ports roads.

“If the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) can make use of the Lilypond Ijora, Brawal and Kirikiri Terminals that are empty for trucks to pack, it will help clear the mess on Apapa road,” Mohammed-Nura said.

He said that those terminals owned by the government could contain over 3,000 trucks instead of them being packed on the roads as has been the case for sometime.

Also commenting, Mr Abbey Lawal, a cashew nut exporter, said that the road had become a menace for them.

Lawal said that most of his colleagues who could not contend with the harsh environment had opted out.

 

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