NPA Partners World Bank to Review Port Concession Agreement

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Hadiza Bala-Usman
Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala-Usman

Eromosele Abiodun

In a bid to ensure that the planned review of port concession agreement yield the desired result, the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) is seriously working with the World Bank, terminal operators and other stakeholders, Managing Director of NPA, Hadiza Bala-Usman has said..

Bala-Usman stated this at the International Associations of Ports and Harbour (IAPH) conference tagged, “African Ports and Interland Connectivity, ” in Abuja,

Barring any last minute change of mind, she said the federal government would launch the revised port concession agreement between the NPA and private terminal operators in the country in the next three months.

According to her, “The ports concession agreements was first signed by the federal government and private terminal operators in 2006. But, the revised concession agreement will help re-assess the values of leased assets as well as factors that inhibit the realisation of the objectives of the concession such as poor dredging, dilapidated road infrastructure around the ports, inconsistent government policies and lack of regulatory framework.”

The NPA boss added that the reviewed port concession agreement between the NPA and terminal operators would introduce sanctions to any party that failed to carry out its responsibilities as stipulated in the agreement.

The review, Bala-Usman added, will be more definite on the issues of sanctions for both operators and regulator in case of default, redefine the Guarantee Minimum Tonnage, and address other issues that led to massive smuggling of vehicles and rice into the country.

Also, she said the plan is to attract private investors to Nigerian ports, assuring of government’s determination to continue to provide necessary infrastructure at the ports.

She added: “We are currently reviewing the concession agreement, we are working with the World Bank as a technical partner. What we have discovered is that there is no clarity on sanctions for anyone of the partners that violate the rules. No clarity as to what form of penalty. These are part of the things we are looking at and we have gone far in the process.

“Yes, it will be ready in the next three months. We are talking with the terminal operators. We have an inter-agency which has all the agencies of government that are part of the concessioning process (office of the Attorney General, Bureau of Public Enterprise(BPE), Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), Federal Ministry of Transportation, NPA and we also have technical support from the World Bank.You should expect supplemental agreement that will be signed with the concessionaires.”

Also speaking at IAPH conference, Deputy Director, Guangzhou Port Authority, Yuan Yue revealed that trade between the China port of Guangzhou and Nigeria increased to $2.65 billion in 2017.

Yue said the volume of export and import between Africa and Guangzhou in 2017 was $12.86 billion up by 11 per cent year on year.

Yue added that the volume of trade between port of Guangzhou and Nigeria was $2.65 billion which was an increase of 91 per cent year on year.

She stated further that the total container throughput between Guangzhou port and Africa in the same period was 443,700 TEUs of which the throughput between Guangzhou port and Nigeria exceeded 100,000 TEUs.