NPA, making Nigerian ports work for economic growth

“That is why matters related to the operationalization of Lekki Deep Seaport before the end of this year have been placed as a top priority”

By Uzor Odigbo

The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) is boosting the productivity level of various ports in the country and fostering a conducive business environment for greenfield port projects

Mohammed Bello-Koko (NPA) MD made a recent visit to Portharcourt Port after a previous one in Warri confirmed it.

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As part of supporting its readiness for a smooth start of commercial activities, the NPA also obtained approval for the designation of Lekki Deep Seaport as an approved customs port and wharf.

In line with the promise to ensure operational take-off for commercial vessel berthing at Lekki deep seaport before the end of 2022, the Authority had written a letter through the Ministry of Transport requesting expedited Presidential approval for the port to be classified as an Approved Customs Port and Wharf as required by law. He got approval.

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He explained that with the approval granted by President Muhammadu Buhari, this meant that everything was ready for commercial vessels from around the world to dock and clear goods at Nigeria’s first deep sea port and the first fully automated.

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NPA Director General Mohammed Bello Koko said on July 1, 2022, as he received the first vessel to dock at Lekki Deep Seaport,

“The NPA’s commitment to provide all necessary support to place Nigeria on the global list of countries with deep sea ports is unwavering.

“This development shows that Nigeria’s renewed export orientation and the NPA’s willingness to take trade facilitation up a notch are no flukes.”

According to Journal NG Magazine, the NPA has also strengthened its corporate relationships with relevant governmental and non-governmental stakeholders in the port environment.

In separate meetings with the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) and the Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON), the MD assured members of the organized private sector of conducive ports to improve their businesses.

The NPA and SON have also decided to work together to boost the country’s non-oil export campaign and control the influx of counterfeit and substandard goods into the country.

Speaking during a one-day working visit to the NPA, the Director General of the SONMallam Farouk Salim, who led the organization’s senior leadership during the visit, sought the cooperation and support of the NPA to rid the country of counterfeit and substandard products, which he said are also harmful to the growth and development of the country. than the well-being of citizens.

He noted that it has become necessary and timely for relevant stakeholders in the port industry to join the organization in the fight against counterfeit and substandard goods illegally imported mainly from Asia and other parts of the world. world, which are also destroying local industry. as a serious threat to the security of citizens.

Mallam Salim commended the current leadership of the NPA for the various reforms it is carrying out in all the seaports in the country, including the upgrading of infrastructure, which he said remains key to making the ports efficient and competitive.

Bello-Koko pledged the support of the NPA in the fight against counterfeit and substandard products in the country, which he said is a course that must be supported by all in the general interest of the economy.

He also noted that the NPA was doing everything in its power to boost non-oil exports, especially agricultural and related products, in line with the federal government’s policy of economic diversification aimed at increasing foreign exchange earnings and controlling excessive dependence on the export of crude oil.

Bello-Koko cited the NPA’s decision to dedicate certain port terminals exclusively to handling and packing non-oil export products for shipment overseas to avoid delays, assuring plans are in the works. course to dedicate more terminals in all port locations to facilitate the ease of handling the country’s export cargo.

The NPA boss also urged SON to be part of the authority’s vision to automate port systems including cargo operations and port services with the introduction of the port community system set up in collaboration with the International Maritime Organization IMO, the world maritime regulatory organization and a United Nations body.

The Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NLNG) and NPA have agreed on a partnership to deploy a Vessel Tracking Service (VTS).

The deal was struck on Wednesday, July 27, 2022 when Phillip Mshelbila, the Chief Executive of the NLNG, paid a partnership renewal visit to the NPA headquarters in Lagos.

The VTS, to be deployed through NLNG Ship Management Limited (NSML), a subsidiary of NLNG, will enhance NPA’s capacity in domain awareness and management.

Speaking on the development, NPA MD said the authority is delighted with the development, especially as it comes at a time when the authority is stepping up its efforts under the technical guidance of the International Maritime Organization to deploy Port Community System (PCS).

He said the VTS will support the successful deployment of the Port Community System.

The vessel tracking service is a vessel control measure necessary to ensure the safety of life at sea (SOLAS); a convention of the International Maritime Organization which guarantees the safety of the ship, the crew, the cargo, the environment and the host community of the ports.

The synergy between NPA, a port regulator, and NLNG, a major player in the global liquefied natural gas sector, portends many positives for the federal government’s new export drive.

The federal government has approved a concession agreement for the development of the Badagry deep-sea port at a cost of $2.59 billion over a 45-year period.

The approval was finalized following a presentation by the Federal Ministry of Transport during the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja on Wednesday.

The port, officials said, is expected to generate $53.6 billion in revenue over the 45-year concession period.

Transport Minister Mu’azu Jaji Sambo confirmed the deal on Wednesday shortly after the meeting at State House, Abuja.

“I am pleased to announce to you and the general public that I have today presented to the council a memorandum regarding the development of the Badagry Deep Water Port under the public-private partnership, where the private sector will inject money for the development of the port and at the end of the concession period, the port reverts to the Federal Government of Nigeria through the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).

“The cost of the project as contained and approved by the board based on the final business case approved by the Infrastructure Concessions Regulatory Commission (ICRC) in accordance with applicable laws was $2 .59 billion dollars. It is to be developed in four phases with milestones and the concession period of 45 years. The reversion is, as I said, to the Federal Government of Nigeria.

“This is to advance the government’s goal of making Nigeria the maritime hub of the West and Central Africa sub-region.

This project, you may be interested to know, will also generate total revenues of over $53.6 billion over the concession period.

This will create around a quarter of a million jobs and will also attract foreign direct investment to the country and help improve Nigeria’s economy in general and the welfare of Nigerians,” he said.

In November 2012, APM Terminals and its consortium partners announced their intention to develop the deep water port of Badagry.

When fully constructed, the full-service deep-water port will be one of the largest in Africa with 7 km of quay and 1,000 hectares (2,470 acres) of dedicated yard, and will include state-of-the-art container facilities , bulk, liquids bulk, Ro/Ro and general cargo as well as support for oil and gas operations and a barge terminal.

Plans for the adjoining Badagry Free Zone will include a power plant, oil refinery, industrial park, and inland container port and warehousing functions.

The Badagry consortium partnership includes APM Terminals, Orlean Invest, Macquarie Group, Oando, Chagoury Group and Terminal Investment Limited

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