World Bank rates Nigeria’s port concession best in Africa
—–as Bello- Koko says 25- year port master plan back on track
The port concession model of the Federal Government that was rolled out in 2006, has been adjudged the best in Africa.
This claim was made by a team of experts from the World Bank, Nigeria Office who was on a working visit to the Nigerian Ports Authority’s head office, on Thursday.
Reacting to the Bank’s positive assessment during his meeting with World Bank and International Finance Corporation (IFC) officials, Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority, Mohammed Bello Koko, stated that the port concession exercise has clearly enhanced Nigeria’s goal of becoming the leading blue economy in Africa.
He added that his administration’s focus is to facilitate port-led industrialization in the country through infrastructural renewal and deployment of modern technology tools.
The NPA helmsman told the delegation from the World Bank Nigeria Office led by Olatunji Ahmed and Christian Mulamula, Principal Investment Officer – Infrastructure (IFC), that the Authority duly appreciates the excellent support provided by the World Bank under its private participation in infrastructure (PPI) scheme.
“We at NPA fully appreciate that efficient port operations will enable our government and businesses to provide services that are affordable and sustainable, leading to reduced poverty and inequality.
He urged the bank to sustain the support and synergy especially now that the Authority is in search of alternative funding sources to bridge its infrastructure gaps.
“We look forward to better collaboration with the bank in the development of more mega or deep-sea ports across the country with world-class facilities, high quality and efficient operating system, like the Lekki Deep Seaport is now our priority”, he declared.
Bello-Koko further declared “with the quality of attention being paid by the Federal Government to port infrastructure renewal, we are very confident that moving goods to and from Nigerian ports would soon be top of the range, cost-efficient and comparable with the leading ports of the world.
” We have made remarkable progress tackling the intractable traffic gridlock on the port access roads with the deployment of an electronic call-up system for trucks, called “Eto”.
“There is room for improvement, the Apapa axis is good but on the Tin-Can axis, we’re calling for a quick fix before the rains”, he appealed.
The NPA MD informed the World Bank team that the 25 -Year Port Master-plan, which had earlier suffered some hitches, is now back on course, stressing that the Authority will work collaboratively with the Bank in the operationalization of the port master-plan.
Earlier in his remarks, Ahmed, a Senior Transport Specialist with the Bank, assured his host that the World Bank Group would continue to partner with Nigeria and other interested countries to develop transport infrastructure and services that are safe, green, efficient and inclusive.
He stated that the Bank is happy to partner with the Authority over the years and intends to continue to provide assistance to the Authority in the journey towards becoming the preferred destination of cargo in Africa.
The World Bank and IFC delegation expressed both organizations’ willingness to work with NPA in the improvement of port infrastructure under a public-private partnership arrangement between the Authority and other third parties.
They equally requested a project tracker report on the actions and milestones recorded in the port concession programme so far.
Ahmed also informed his host that his Office would assist the Authority in its review of the concession agreements with terminal operators: including governance; pricing; operations; transit/exit from the port; traffic management and other key issues, as outlined in the concession framework.
Mulamula disclosed that the IFC (a member of the World Bank Group), is set to make an investment in the Lekki Deep Seaport, just as it is willing to support the Terminal Operators upgrade their facilities and equipment.
He further said that the IFC plans to invest funds for the rehabilitation of the Tin-Can Island Port as private participation in infrastructure (PPI) project.
In a related development, the NPA MD along with members of the Management team met with the officials of Bollore Transport and Logistics Nigeria (formerly SDV Nigeria) led by its Managing Director, Folashade Akanni-Shelle.
The delegation from Bollore spoke about their company’s desire to expand its logistics facilities across the country, to boost its market share and service offerings in areas like customs releases, warehousing and door-to-door delivery to clients.
Akanni-Shelle explained that her organization remains a major operator in transport and logistics across the continent.
“We hope to sustain the cordial business relations we have established with the NPA for the benefit of the Nigerian economy”, she said.
Bello Koko assured Bollore of the NPA’s commitment to work closely with all its local and international partners.
He charged Bollore to identify likely locations suitable to set up such logistics bases, in particular at the Eastern Ports where such facilities are currently less available.
Exclusive! Hope rises on take-off of proposed $3bn Badagry Deep Seaport as NPA, APMT resume discussion
The approval was finalised following a presentation by the Federal Ministry of Transportation at the Federal Executive Council (FEC) during the last administration of President Mohammed Buhari.
According to officials, the port is expected to generate $53.6 billion in revenue over the 45 years concession period.
The proposed site of the project is located 55km west of Apapa and the port of Lagos, along the 55km long Lagos-Badagry Expressway, which is being upgraded from a four-lane to a ten-lane expressway.
The port is expected to have an annual throughput capacity of 1.8 million Twenty-foot Equivalent Units (TEUs).
The proposal for the project was announced in 2012. Feasibility studies have been completed and construction works are yet to start.
The project will be implemented in four phases, with the overall project cost estimated to range between $2 billion and $3 billion.
Also, it is expected that the new port will primarily ease pressure on the existing ports of Lagos, Apapa and Tin-Can Ports, which handle approximately 85 percent of the country’s non-oil throughput.
It will further alleviate the burden on the country’s existing ports, which are on the verge of exceeding their cargo handling capacities, and address the country’s annual container traffic, which is expected to grow to 10 million Twenty-foot Equivalent Units by 2030.
Plans for the adjoining Badagry Free Trade Zone will include a power plant, oil refinery, industrial park and warehousing and Inland Container Deport functions.
Jamoh, Bello- Koko, serial award winners, bag National Productivity merit awards
The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Dr. Bashir Yusuf Jamoh, is gradually turning into a serial award winner as he has landed yet another plaque of honour from the federal government.
An excited Jamoh expressed appreciation to the Federal Government, noting that it is a call to greater service to our Fatherland.“I am spurred by this award, particularly as it is coming from the Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity, which underscores the ministry’s role in ensuring reward for hard work and productivity in public service”
“Let me also use this opportunity to dedicate the award to the industry’s stakeholders; external and internal, as they have made our work easier as an administration.
“We will continue to strive to make the maritime sector a viable economic driver, especially with the Blue Economy mantra, which is critical to the sustainability of the maritime sector”, Jamoh said.
Commenting the on the selection of the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Transportation, Dr. Magdalene Ajani, the DG said it is a well-deserved honour, as she has remained a core professional and astute administrator in the coordination of activities in the Ministry and the Agencies under the supervision of the Ministry.
“I am not surprised by her selection, as she is an administrator par excellence and has remained resolute and professional in the discharge of her duties.
”This conferment can only spur me and the entire team at the Nigerian Ports Authority whose commitment to exceptional performance culminated in this recognition, to continue pushing the limit and advancing the frontiers of trade facilitation.
”Imbued with the understanding that excellence is a moving target, I want to seize this moment to assure that we will not rest on our laurels in our resolve to turn our rich maritime potentials into actualities’, an elated Koko declared.
The National Productivity Order of Merit Award was instituted by the Federal Government of Nigeria to recognize and honour productive individuals and organizations in Nigeria in the year of the award for achievements made in the preceding years.
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