The managing director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Hadiza Bala-Usman, says the review of ports concessioning agreement will be completed in the next three months.
Bala-Usman, who is also the vice-president, International Africa Ports and Harbour (IAPH), made this known in a presentation on “Ports Governance Models- Our Experience” at the ongoing first regional conference of IAPH in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital on Tuesday.
Concise News recalls that the Nigerian government concessioned the ports to private operators in 2006 “to encourage Public Private Partnership and 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.
Speaking on the development, Bala-Usman said NPA was meeting with the terminal operators to get their inputs on the review of the agreement.
Her words: “We have an inter-agency which has all the agencies of government that are part of the concessioning process,” she said.
“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.”
The NPA MD said there would be a deliberate deployment of multi-modal transportation modes into all ports in Nigeria.
Bala-Usman 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, watercourses, embankments and jetties.
She said NPA could enter into an 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 a need for strategic decisions on the future of NPA as the ports landlord, while government should provide attractive conditions for direct foreign investments.
The NPA boss said there was a 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.
NPA also signed a memorandum of understanding with Guangzhou Port Authority, China.