Despite resistance by terminal operators, World Bank has said that it will assist Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) in reconstructing the dilapidated Tincan Island Port, Apapa.
The Managing Director of the authority, Mr. Mohammed Bello-Koko, explained in Lagos that that the bank had come again to tell the authority that it would provide fund to rebuild the port.
He noted: “Because of their financial interest, these terminal operators don’t want us to re-construct the affected port terminals because that will mean stopping them from operating. “We have had interest from the World Bank, International Finance Corporation (IFC), Afri-Exim Bank and others.”
Bello-Koko noted that the Tin-Can Island Port was practically on the verge of collapsing. He said: “We need to focus our budget towards the rehabilitation of those quay walls at the Tin-Can port. We have taken a holistic review of decaying infrastructures at our ports and have decided that it is very important that we rehabilitate Tin-Can and Apapa port.
“What we have done is to start talking to lending agencies, even though we don’t intend to lend. We are asking the terminal operators, you people have operated these port terminals for about 10 years and 15 years; how much money are you going to invest in these terminals?
We are asking some of them that their leases have expired, how much will they be investing in the ports?” He noted that five port concessionaires were being monitored to ensure they do the right things as regards their commitment and obligations under the concession agreement.
The managing director said that the authority had also given them temporary six-month renewal with conditions to meet their obligations before the termination of the agreement they entered into with the Federal Government in 2006.
Bello-Koko explained that the introduction of the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) Act meant that renewal of concession agreement for terminal operators was no longer done the way it used to be done. He said: “For us to renew these concession agreements that have expired, about five of them, we need to have categorical commitment from the affected terminal operators on the development of these port terminals.