- NTC to correct concession lapses
Nigeria saves an estimated $ 200M a year as one of the benefits of the port concession programme of 2006 which saw over 26 terminals handed over to the private sector operators under the port Land lord Private Public Partnership (PPP) model.
According to the Acting Director General of the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission(ICRC), Engr. Chidi Izuah , the concession initiative reduced the congestion surcharge by shipping lines from $525 to $75 and consequently saving the nation $200m in a year.
Izuwah, who delivered the paper on “ Transportation Infrastructure as a Catalyst for Economic Diversification and Inclusive Development: What roles can PPPs play? On Thursday at the 2n annual Seminar of the Abuja Transport and Aviation Correspondents, ATACA, restated that the Nigerian ports done better due to the concession exercise and inflow of private capital.
He said that experienced private operators were engaged through the concession to rehabilitate and manage 26 port terminals under the Land lord model, adding that months after the concession of Apapa- Lagos container terminal delays for berthing space reduced.
According to Izuwah, the progress has continued and needs to be sustained because “we no longer hear about wharf rats, among other vices. These thieves made containers vanish into thin air easily in our Ports in years”.
Harping on the importance of transport infrastructure development via PPP, he said that 1 percent increase in a nation’s infrastructure increases Gross Domestic Product, GDP by 1percent even as he noted that the fastest way to accelerate economic growth in Nigeria is by developing infrastructure.
He said that partnership with government would create a world class fully networked inter modal transportation infrastructure system for Nigeria using transparent world class bankable PPPs.
In his submission at the occasion, the Executive Secretary of Nigerian Shippers’ Council(NSC), Barr, Hassan Bello observed that the Nigerian port sector has greatly benefited from the concession exercise, but lacks of a clearer and well defined Regulatory Framework and absence of a Permanent Economic Regulator has significantly impacted, negatively, on port traffic especially port costs.
The existence of this gap necessitated the promotion of the National Transport Commission Bill
Speaking on the topic, “Economic Regulation : The panacea to the Challenges of MarineTransportation Industry” Bello said the NTC Bill has now been passed by the National Assembly and is being sent t the President for assent;
The Minister of Transportation., Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi last week, had indicated that once the Bill is assented to by the President necessary steps will be taken to transmute NSC into NTC;