Wednesday, 31st May 2023

NPA urged to renew concession agreement with indigenous terminal operators

By Adaku Onyenucheya
08 June 2022   |   3:21 am
The Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Muhammed Bello-Koko, has been urged to encourage indigenous terminal operators at the country's ports by renewing their concession agreements.

The Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Muhammed Bello-Koko, has been urged to encourage indigenous terminal operators at the country’s ports by renewing their concession agreements.

The President General of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), Adewale Adeyanju, gave the charge while addressing journalists in Lagos.

Adeyanju said unlike the foreign terminal operators whose activities and investments translate into capital flight, indigenous terminals have encouraged Nigerian workers better.

Recall that the NPA Managing Director at a parley with the maritime press recently, disclosed that about five terminal operators concession agreements have expired and that the agency is on the verge of renewing them with new conditions.

While making a case for the indigenous terminals, Adeyanju urged NPA to give them more favourable terms of agreement than their foreign counterparts who care less about Nigerians.

“Our indigenous terminal operators need to be supported, they have done well. We all know what transpired in 2016 when they were coming onboard. We were thinking that they were not going to perform, but now, we have seen the dividends of privatising the ports; it has given employment.

“What transpired there was that NPA who happens to be the master stevedore then, privatising the port affected all the staff of NPA from 14,000 workers down to 3,000 workers.”

“But as things go on, we have been able to manage the terminal operators. We need to give them a word of encouragement that they should improve on their terminals. I agree with you that some of them are not good, but to me, they have come to stay, anyone that is found wanting among them, the contract of concession should be reviewed,” he advised.

Adeyanju said indigenous terminal operators must be applauded, as most of all the foreign terminal operators at the port today and other multinational companies, invest in Nigeria and make huge profit, which they repatriate to their countries for development.

He said this calls for encouragement of indigenous terminals by the government to ensure money made from Nigeria is reinvested for the development of the country.

“This is why you see the IOCs have no regard for Nigerian laws, they believe that they have the money and resources. Impunity is the order of the day with these multinational companies.

“Government should give the indigenous terminals more things to do, than their foreign partners,” he said.

Meanwhile, the MWUN President General has revealed that anytime from now, the issuance of biometric identity cards for dockworkers and seafarers would commence.

According to him, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) who is in charge of the scheme, has done the administrative side of it, and anytime from now, they would be going across all terminals, in order to carry out physical verification.