The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has sought the support of the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) in reviewing concession agreements of ports in Nigeria. NPA Managing Director, HabibAbdullahi, made the plea recently in Abuja during a meeting with the Director-General of the ICRC, AminuDikko. Abdullahi said that the review of the agreements would help in boosting activities at the ports thereby giving room for better ports operations and more investor participation.
He said that the development of access roads to the Lekki Deep Seaport project would ease business transactions. Abdullahi also said that NPA intended to liaise with the ICRC and other stakeholders to develop fisheries at the Kirikiri Lighter Terminal 2, turning it into a modern fishing terminal. He also appealed for the dredging and maintenance of water channels at the Calabar and Warri ports via the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) approach.
The NPA boss noted that agricultural exportation could be achieved with ease through the ports if there were rail lines to help in transporting agricultural produce to the port terminals. He also suggested that the ports could be decongested of containers by using them to export solid minerals and agricultural produce to other parts of the world. According to the MD, political will on the part of the government would go a long way in ensuring that the nation gets return on investment in the sector.
In his response, Dikko promised to fully support the NPA in its drive to achieve its set goals. He however said that for the agency to attract investors, there must be a port’s master plan to guide it. He noted that the master plan would also inform investors on the activities of the agency and the nation as a whole and guide them on what to invest in. This, Dikko said, would enable a holistic approach in tackling issues related to ports in Nigeria.
He commended the NPA for setting up a PPP unit and assured that the ICRC would help build the capacity of staff in the department. The meeting is in furtherance of the outcome of the inspection of the Warri, Calabar and Lagos ports carried out by the ICRC