Despite Ministerial Assurances, NPA Fails To Renew Expired Concession Agreements 45-Days After
Fred Omotara, Lagos
Findings have revealed that despite assurances from the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mohammed Bello-Koko to the Honourable Minister of Transportation, Alhaji Mu’azu Jaji Sambo that the port concession renewal process of five port terminal operators, which had expired, will be ready in 45-days, findings by kadecommunicationng has revealed that the renewal process are far from concluded 46-dsys after.
Recall that the NPA MD, while touring the ports alongside the Honourable Minister of Transportation, Alhaji Mu’azu Jaji Sambo on 12th of August, 2022, said the port concession renewal will be ready in 45-days.
Checks by kadecommunicationng however revealed that the 45-days period given by the NPA MD expired at the weekend and the concession renewal process are still in the works.
Speaking with newsmen on the sideline of the OMIS Awards held at the weekend, Chairperson of the Seaport Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria (STOAN) Princess Vicky Haastrup said that despite the fact that all terminal operators in Nigeria have surpassed the expectation of government as enshrined in the concession agreement signed in year 2006, the renewal process of the five expired lease agreements is still unknown.
According to Princess Vicky Haarstrup, “We thank God that we now have a new minister who sees a reason and need to get the expired leases renewed quickly.
“A lot of these leases have expired for over one year, which is not really good for business in Nigeria. What this is telling the international community is that Nigeria is not a secured place to do business. If concessions are not renewed as at when they expire, it doesn’t show confidence to the international community
“This new Minister has seen that, and he has given the Nigerian Ports Authority 45 days within which they need to renew the expired agreements.”
Haastrup who is the Vice Chairman of ENL Consortium, one of the terminal operators battling expired lease agreement renewal further explained that, “All of the expired leases have met the concession agreement and even surpassed what we are supposed to do.
“There is a way that performance is measured and this has been done all over the years. There is what is called continuous assessment, yearly, half-year and quarterly assessments
“All of that has been done, and we have invested and made commitments more than we are supposed to do in the concession agreement. It shows that we meant business, we want to turn the industry around and perform at world class level. NPA can confirm that all terminals have surpassed the expectation of government as enshrined in the concession agreement.
“This alone means that the renewal should not have been delayed.
“We are happy for the new minister that has given us a lot of encouragement and has promised that all the expired leases will be renewed within forty five days. They are keeping up with it, and we are going to hold him by his words.
“We look forward to a new concession agreement that would bring comfort to everyone “