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WHY WE DELAY NATION’S PORTS CONCESSION- GBOYEGA OYETOLA       

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WHY WE DELAY NATION’S PORTS CONCESSION- GBOYEGA OYETOLA                                                                   15-03-24

By Sadiq Aminu                                                         The Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Gboyega Oyetola says the concessioning of the nation’s ports was being delayed to allow the government conclude it’s reinvestment plan and reconstruct the ports to meet up with the required standard.
Mr. Oyetola stated this when he appeared before the House of Representatives Committee on Privatisation.
The Minister explained that President Bola Tinubu has demonstrated Political will to develop the nation’s maritime sector.
The Minister who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Oloruntola Micheal, pointed out that government will not seat back and watch the ports to completely collapse.
Mr. Oyetola said that the government required about 1.1 billion dollars reinvestment in the nation’s port before renewing the concession agreement of the ports.
He noted that the present agreement between the government and concessionaires was unacceptable as it falls below the required standard

The Minister said “Under the mordenisation programme of the Port, the Ministry is envisioning a major reinvestment in the port system for it to meet the expected service delivery that is commensurate with the image of Nigeria and the level of international business that Nigeria is with.
“The current situation at the port does not meet the required standard. The investment quatum that is expected to be invested in the port will require a major rethink of the concessioning of the ports”

“As a result of that, the Ministry, in concert with the agency, the NPA in particular has begun a process of reinvestment package for the port. It means that the Ministry must factor into whatever relevant concessions that have to be made into that larger vision or else, we my progress further in error and put that reinvestment plan at risk”

“We are not resisting renewing this agreement. We are only saying allow the ministry put in place a reinvestment plan for the port in the better interest of Nigeria, the port system and Nigeria at large.

“The Ministry is saying it should be allowed to do what is right and just. The port require a major reinvestment beyond what we have witnessed in the last decade or more. That is more important than what is being taunted”.
The Managing Director of the Nigeria Ports Authority, NPA, Mohammed Bello Koko, said the proposal for renewal of the concession agreement for the ports was submitted to the Federal Executive Council in February 2023.
He explained that the FEC put the renewal on hold demanding additional information, adding that one of the issues raised by FEC was investment as it relates to existing infrastructure at the ports.
The Chairman, House Committee on Privatisation and Commercialisation, Ibrahim Hamisu Chidari said the Ministry must put measures in place to ensure that government does not loose any revenue as a result of the delay in renewing the concession agreement.
He said after the expiration of the agreement in 2021, the terminal operators were given a six months extension twice and after that, there has been no extension
The Minister however said that a six months extension will be given to the terminal operators to operate legally, adding that all plans by the government should be concluded within the six months period.

 

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