By Meletus EZE
The Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Ms Hadiza Bala-Usman, on Tuesday said the review of ports concessioning agreement would be completed in the next three months.
Bala-Usman, who is also the Vice President, International Africa Ports and Harbour (IAPH) stated this in a presentation on “Ports Governance Models- Our Experience” at the ongoing First Regional Conference of IAPH in Abuja.
The Federal Government concessioned the ports to private operators in 2006 to encourage Public- Private Partnership and to 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 said NPA was 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.
The NPA boss said there would be deliberate deployment of multi-modal transportation modes into all ports in Nigeria.
She said 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 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.