The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), has assured that plans are on to renew Concession Agreements for five terminal operators that expired in 2021.
Mohammed Bello Koko, managing director of NPA, who made this known recently during a chat with journalists in Lagos, added that under the new agreement, Terminal Operators will be more responsible for the maintenance of Quays, Fenders and allied matters such as port illumination.
According to him, the Authority is concluding discussions on the terms of the agreement and once that is sorted, the report will be sent to the Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE), Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), Federal Ministry of Transportation (FMOT) and the Federal Ministry of Justice (FMOJ).
“The agreement was signed in 2006 and while some have expired, some are still running. But, the expired ones are being renewed and what we are looking at is what will be in the best interest of the country. What was agreed in 2006 is no more tenable, the demands of the country and of the NPA are different from what they were in 2006”.
The Federal Government through the NPA is resolved to hold Terminal Operators more accountable under the new Agreement, on maintenance as well as on deployment of modern equipment in sufficient quantity.
Two of the expired leases have agreed to invest in the development of the TinCan Port. The need to discuss with the other terminal operators whose leases have not expired became important, since development will entail the whole berth.
“It is these fine details that are being worked on, but I believe within the month, they will be finalized and sent to FMOT, FMOJ, BPE, ICRC accordingly” Bello-Koko said.
On the whole, the renewal of these leases have afforded NPA the opportunity to take a closer look at the Port Modernization project of government, and preliminary agreements together with the renewal documents will be communicated to FMOT in few days’ time.