The clamour for the review of ports concession agreements may soon take effect, as the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) opens dialogue with the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) on the 11-year old document.
The Managing Director of the NPA, Ms. Hadiza Bala Usman, during a courtesy call on the Director-General, BPE, Alex Okoh, stressed the need for seamless collaboration for a sustained development of the maritime industry.
The chief executives reviewed the maritime industry and agreed on the framework for the evaluation of the ports concession agreements. They also discussed the infrastructural challenges at the ports and the ways to address them.
Okoh on his part promised that the Bureau would constantly liaise with the NPA to ensure that the concessionaires keep to the terms of the contracts they signed with the government, and also ensure that the agreements that are due for review are done expeditiously.
Both expressed optimism that the Reform Bills, especially the Ports and Harbour Bill, and National Transport Commission Bill, currently receiving attention at the National Assembly, would optimise operations at the ports.
The two bills when enacted would strengthen the technical and economic regulatory framework in the maritime industry.Usman explained that synergy between both agencies would ensure an all encompassing review process of the ports concession agreements.
While stressing the strategic position of the maritime sector in the nation’s economy, and the enormous prospects it presents for economic growth, the NPA boss maintained that inter-agency collaboration was one sure way to harness the potential.
Last month, the House of Representatives passed the National Transport Commission Bill. The main objective of the Bill is, “to provide efficient economic regulatory framework for the transport sector, mechanism for monitoring compliance of government agencies, transport service providers and users in the regulated transport industry with relevant legislation and to advise government on matters relating to economic regulation of the regulated transport industry.”