The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) says it has concluded the renewal of concession agreement with five terminal operators after the expiration of their leases.
The Managing Director of NPA, Mr Mohammed Bello-Koko, noted that the agreement would be submitted to the Federal Ministry of Transportation for final approval before the close of work on Oct. 4.
Bello-Koko said this during the visit of the Minister of Transportation, Mr Mu’azu Sambo, who conducted a familiarisation tour of the agency on Friday in Lagos.
He, however, said discussions among some terminal operators were inconclusive, while others were yet to give necessary feedback to the authority.
The NPA helsman lamented the 100 per cent physical examination of cargoes at the nation’s seaports, saying it affected efficient cargo inspection, and that manual cargo examination was cumbersome and inefficient.
Bello-Koko noted that the terminal operators had expressed the desire to purchase and maintain scanners at the Nigerian seaports, while Customs would operate it.
“If scanners are provided, it will make Nigerian seaports more competitive and the preferred destinations for cargoes in West and Central Africa.
“Manual examination of cargoes in our ports due to the absence of scanners is inefficient, not sustainable, cumbersome and can’t make our ports competitive.
“Terminal operators have, however, expressed readiness to purchase and maintain the scanners but the equipment will be maintained by the service and this will make our ports efficient in the sub-region,” he said.
The NPA MD, in his presentation to the minister, said the nation’s seaports needed to explore alternative sources of power generation to the seaport because of the rising cost of power.
He also called for the reconstruction of the collapsed quay apron at the Tin-Can Island port and collapsed jetty at Continental Shipyard.
“Some matters requiring urgent attention include the reconstruction of the quay apron at Tin Can Island Port complex and collapsed jetty at Continental Shipyard Ltd.
“Also, the reconstruction of collapsed berth at Federal Lighter Terminal (FLT) and fencing of common user port facility in line with the specification of International Ships and Ports Facility (ISPS), code.
“Also, reconstruction of collapsed breakwater at delta port and rising cost of power generation (electricity) in the port and the need to commence procurement of alternative source of power,” he said.
Responding, Sambo said there were so many issues that the NPA needed to handle, urging the management to priortise and come out with short, medium and long time term goals.
“For the medium and long term, they can lay the foundation and let people that will come after them to conclude.
“The most immediate burning issue for me is evacuation of cargo at the Lekki Deep Seaport.
“We have been talking about encouraging moving cargo by barges, this is the time we walk the talk.
“Happily it is NPA that licenses barge operations; so if they are satisfied with the barges that they license, they should encourage them,” he said.