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NPA vows to ensure terminals deliver on concession agreement of deploying infrastructure, equipment

The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has vowed that it would not leave any stone unturned in making sure that port terminal managers deliver on the concession agreement signed in 2006 with the Federal Government.

NPA, which serves as both the port landlord and technical regulator, promised to ensure that terminal operators deployed the necessary infrastructure and equipment needed to deliver efficient services to port users and ensure ease of doing business in the nation’s seaports.

Speaking during the commissioning of the two new multimillion dollars Mobile Harbor Cranes (MHCs) acquired by APM Terminals to boost service delivery at the Apapa Port in Lagos, Hadiza Bala Usman, managing director of NPA, promised that the authority would ensure terminal operators deploy the necessary equipment to facilitate trade within the port.

“We are here today to witness APM Terminals deploying what they have committed to providing and we shall continue to monitor to ensure that all the equipment is deployed. We encourage APM Terminals to continue their sustain improvement within their terminal and we look forward to providing the necessary support to enable them meet up international best practices in the port,” she said.

According to her, one of the key aspects of the regulations that the NPA had been doing over the years was ensuring that every item in terms of infrastructure and equipment as contained in the concession agreement, were provided by terminal operators.

“Another thing that we have discussed with APM Terminals was the need for expansion of Apapa port to make sure that the terminal is able to take on the larger vessels that are being built globally. So, while we are improving service delivery there was need for expansion for long time recognition of the port,” she pointed out.

Usman further noted that the NPA recognises the fact that the terminal operator has brought in about nine cranes in the last three months following the letters that NPA had written to them, notifying them of the default in deploying sufficient equipment at their terminal.

She however stated that APM Terminals were also expecting about four additional cranes to bring the total number to 13. Noting that this would improve the capacity of the terminal, she added that the NPA would sustain its monitoring functions to ensure the terminal operator bring in the additional infrastructure, which they also need to deploy.

“It is imperative that terminal operators rise up to the obligation of investing in terminals in Nigeria and this was what we are following up on. One of the challenges had been that certain investment was not being done at a certain period. But, having drawn their attention to that in line with the fact that there is a clause in the concession agreement that we can call back, they had risen up to the occasion by starting the $80 million investment within the period of three months,” she explained.

David Skov, head of terminals, Africa and Middle East region of APM Terminals, said that before now, the company had invested USD358 million (N150.36 billion) in port infrastructure development, information technology upgrades and modern cargo handling equipment to improve both quayside and landside operations.

“The additional investment we are making is to handle the increased trade volumes into Nigeria. Trade in Nigeria is growing due to the many favorable efforts and policies of the Federal government of Nigeria including but not limited to the policy on ease of doing business; stabilisation of foreign exchange; closure of the land borders which has increased the use of our seaports; and diversification of the economy,” he said.

According to Skov, the additional investment would create capacity to handle the growth in the economy, support the Federal government’s efforts on trade growth and improve service delivery across the logistic chain in Nigeria.

He said the acquisition of these new cranes, the terminal now operates with a total of 10 Mobile Harbour Cranes; 23 Rubber-Tyred Gantry Cranes; six Empty Handlers; 48 specialised Truck Terminals, six Reach Stackers and 11 Forklifts.

 

AMAKA ANAGOR-EWUZIE

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