SIFAX group, owners of Ports & Cargo Handling Services, says it has obtained all the necessary documents and is waiting for the government to come for the terminal lease agreement renewal.
It will be recalled that the House of Representatives, on Tuesday, had summoned the Minister of Transportation, Hon Rotimi Amaechi, to appear before it and respond to questions bordering on the delay in the approval of the port concession investment.
Chairman, House Committee on Privatization and Commercialization, Ibrahim Makama, who frowned at the development, had observed that federal government might lose investments worth $400 million from the investor.
“Coincidentally, the lease tenures of four-terminal operators had expired in 2021 and it became expedient to tie the renewal of the terminals to their commitments for the development of the expired leases. Based on the negotiations held with them, the following terminals committed to make the following investments in their development plans over a period of 10 – 20 years.”
The affected terminals include: ENL Consortium, $143 million; Port & Cargo Handling Services, $120 million; Josepdam Port Services, $100 million; and Associated Maritime Services, $2.4 million.
In his reaction, the Head, Corporate Communications of SIFAX group, Muyiwa Akande, in a chat with our correspondent in Lagos on Tuesday, said the firm had obtained all the needed documents ready.
“All the necessary things have been done from our end here. The documents have been submitted, so we are still waiting for them to come back to us. Our own position is that all the things that need to be submitted to the government agency for the renewal of the agreement are ready. If you have a business and you know your continued effort depends on your renewal, you won’t take it lightly. So, everything we need to do has been done. The documents have been submitted; all the documents they have asked for are all submitted. So, it is not our call – the government needs to make a decision.”
Akande said that in the new agreement, the firm was looking for a 20-year concession tenure.
“I don’t have the financial figure for the agreement. For this one we are submitting, we are looking for a 20-year tenure and the one that expired was from 2005 and that was about 15 years ago. Like I said, we have submitted all the necessary documents and we are waiting for them to get across to us,” he said.
The investment is estimated at $120 million.