• Tuesday, June 25, 2024
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NPA secures $700m facility from Citibank to upgrade Apapa, Tin-Can Ports

NPA secures $700m facility from Citibank to upgrade Apapa, Tin-Can Ports

The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has negotiated a facility of over $700 million from Citibank Nigeria to be funded by the UK Export Finance (UKEF) an export credit agency, for the upgrade of the Apapa and Tin-Can Island Ports in Lagos.

The ports authority has also opened discussions with another funding agency to secure financing for the upgrade of the Eastern Ports, including Calabar, Warri, Onne and Rivers Ports, as well as the reconstruction of Escravos breakwater.

Speaking in Lagos on Wednesday during the signing of the mandate letter with Citibank Nigeria, Mohammed Bello-Koko, managing director of the NPA, said the mandate letter would be sent to the Debt Management Office for final review and approval.

He said the funds were ready and the reconstruction of the Lagos Ports would start soonest, even as the authority perfects plans to sign another mandate letter for the upgrading of the Eastern Ports in about a month.

“In the last two years, NPA has realised the need for us to rehabilitate and reconstruct the ports all over the country. We have been having discussions with multilateral funding agencies that have sent various proposals that we have reviewed.

“What we did is to further discussion with interested parties and we realised is best to separate the ports in Lagos from the ports in the East, and we are in discussion with other funding agencies to fund the construction of ports outside Lagos,” he said.

According to him, the Citibank facility is the cheapest for the port authority because it comes with affordable interest rates.

“Port efficiency is not about automation which we have already begun, it’s also about the physical infrastructure, which must be in place and that’s why we are automating. Automation will naturally bring efficiency, increase revenue and plug leakages,” he said.

Bello-Koko said that the NPA was putting a port community system in place, which is a platform that will improve trade facilitation.

“Currently in Nigeria, importers or exporters fill tonnes of forms for one transaction but the Port Community System will reduce the numbers of forms, human interference and ensure speedy clearance process in or out of the country,” he added.