Agence Française de Development (AFD), a public sector funding agency promoted by the French Government, has expressed its willingness to support the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) in the area of modernisation and expansion of port infrastructure such as truck parks, and access corridors in Lagos.
This move was geared towards making Nigerian ports competitive and cost efficient for businesses in Nigeria.
This was made known when a team from AFD and the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) recently visited the management of NPA to hold discussions on credit support for port infrastructure development, among other critical transport assets in the state.
Mohammed Bello -Koko, acting managing director, said the Authority welcomes every support to retool and upgrade port infrastructure in Nigeria to world class status.
He said the NPA would be more than willing to collaborate with development partners like AFD, owing to the fact that such credit support does not require sovereign guarantee, because it comes with a flexible moratorium and repayment plan.
According to him, NPA recently held a meeting with the Federal Ministry of Transportation and terminal operators to discuss on ways of funding port renewal projects, especially at the Lagos Ports Complex (LPC) in Apapa and the Tin-Can Island Ports Complex (TICP), which are nearing their useful lifespans, .
The AFD team, led by David Margonsztern, disclosed that the Agency operates a credit facility agreement with the Lagos State Government, and that they are currently carrying out an Implementation Support Mission on Lagos State Strategic Transport Master Plan (LSTMP).
“Our visit to the NPA is therefore to explore funding opportunities to support port infrastructure renewal under the Lagos Urban Transport Sector programme,” he explained.
The AFD, he said, intends to partner with the Authority on infrastructure expansion and modernisation programmes in Lagos State, especially in the development of facilities like truck parks and improvement of access corridors to the port, for the benefit of residents and businesses in Lagos as well as the Nigerian economy generally.
While commending the joint team from AFD and LAMATA for the visit, Bello -Koko assured the agency that the Authority would continue to embrace relations and actions that would position the port system in Nigeria on the path of sustainable growth.