House C’ttee Summons Marine, Transport Ministers over Concession of Seaports

Juliet Akoje in Abuja

The House of Representatives Committee on Privatisation and Commercialisation yesterday summoned the Ministers of Marine and Blue Economy and Transportation over irregularities in the concession of seaports in Nigeria.

The committee also summoned the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), the Director General, Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE) and the Director General Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC).

The Chairman of the Committee, Hon Ibrahim Hamisu, during an investigative hearing on Tuesday expressed concern at their absence despite being invited to answer questions on their roles in the concession of the seaport terminals.

Hamisu said that the hearing was to address a situation where five terminal operators  whose concession period had expired since 2021 had been allegedly operating illegally since then.

“Some seaport terminals were given out on concession and five of them, their duration has expired. Some are from Lagos and some are from Port Harcourt. They were trying to see that their approvals were renewed since 2021. Somehow, this renewal were not granted to them, but they have been operating since then.

“So we deemed it fit to crosscheck and find out what the problem is. So we decided to invite them, and all the stakeholders like the Ministry of Blue Economy, ICRC, BPE, Ministry of Transport. After inviting them here today, unfortunately only the seaport terminal operators are here. So we have discussed with them and have given one week period within which they should appear before this committee on  March 12 by 10 am, so we discuss with them, we see where the problem is and we take action so that we bring this lasting solution to the problem.

“The names of the affected seaport terminals are Port and Cargo Terminal, ENL Consortium Terminal C, ENL Consortium Terminal D, Josepdam Terminal and AMS Terminal. There are the five terminals whose concession period has expired and they have been operating illegally from 2021 to date and we want to investigate and see what is the problem,” he said.

Consequently, members of the committee also frowned on the manner the concession process was handled which had let the five companies operate without renewal, therefore leading to huge loss of revenue to the federal government.

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