As a result of the high level of corruption in public service in the country, private investors in the truck parks have refused to disclose their full business outlines out of fears of hijack.
The development of truck parks projects have been tipped to curb the menace of trucks parked indiscriminately on the port access roads, but efforts to develop these truck parks have stalled as a result of this challenge.
The Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Ms. Hadiza Bala-Usman revealed this during a recent parley with journalists.
Usman commended the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) for spearheading the initiative to have truck parks while adding that “the challenges we had with companies on truck parks is that they are saying they wouldn’t give us the full business case disclosure because they feel that we would sale the information”
According to the NPA Managing Director, this business case is what the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) requires to give approvals for any form of Public-Private Partnerships.
“If a private company wants to do a PPP or concession, they need to give an outline of their business case which contain the financial forecast and details of how they intend to make money from that business. The company that is taking the initiative from the Shippers’ Council only submitted a very sketchy document.”
“I sent the document to the ICRC but they responded that it was too skeletal, that we need to put in the full business plan with details before they could consider the proposal and approve it. This company is still yet to bring the full description of its business plan. We have been stuck with this company that is refusing to prepare its business outline the way it is extended by the ICRC” she said.
Usman also explained that NPA wouldn’t be constructing any truck holding bay or trailer garage but the Authority had the onus to grant licenses for operators of these facilities to use the call-up system with the NPA.
“So we would be calling on the private sector to develop holding bays and trailer garage and obtain license from us to enable the truck parked in their holding bays have access to the port and for the deployment of the call-up system” she added.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMATO) Chief Remi Ogungbemi argued that NPA hasn’t responded to the presentations on the proposed truck parks.
“I was part of the team that submitted a report and a presentation for the truck park to ease the burden of congestion in Apapa and I am not aware of any complaints by NPA about the business plan” he said.
Ogungbemi lamented that NPA wasn’t showing as much interest in the project as the truck owners who suffer immensely from the traffic congestion. He drew an analogy with an eatery; “This system is like a restaurant and its customers. Every good restaurant should have provision for customers to park their cars while using the facility. In this case the customers have found a space and they only want NPA to play its role” he added.
While truck parks have been tipped to ease the congestion within the Apapa and Tin Can ports, in another development, the Chairman of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) Kirikiri Chapter, Comrade Goddy Sewa Soleji has admonished the Federal Government to dredge the Kirikiri terminal.
“The Kirikiri channel can be dredged to enable bigger vessels come here. We barely have any patronage here because of the low draft and the Apapa and Tin Can ports are stretched beyond their capacities. Although the development of deep seaports in Badagry and Lekki would ease the burden on Apapa and Tin Can, a faster way to solve the traffic congestion would be to dredge the Kirikiri channel” Soleji said.
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