Monday, April 21, 2014 4:26 am
The Senate Committee on Commercialisation and Privatisation said concessioned ports have started yielding higher revenue for the country, its Chairman , Senator Olugbenga Obadara, said this during an oversight visit to Tin-Can Island Port, Lagos.
The Head, Public Communications, Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Mr Chigbo Anichebe reported Obadara as saying that the purpose of the concession had been achieved as services at the ports had significantly improved and were also contributing immensely to the revenue base of the Federal Government.
“The concession fees paid by the concessionaires contribute to the nation’s annual budget as against the pre-concession period when the Federal Government allocated huge sums of money to maintain the ports.
“The Federal Government through BPE concessioned the ports to ensure development and efficiency which in turn would yield high revenue for government as it is applicable in other countries with ports’’, he said.
Managing Director of Nigeria Port Authority (NPA), Alhaji Habib Abubakar said the authority was collaborating with the ports’ concessionaires to ensure that the ports were fully developed.
He said that a well developed port would bring about efficiency as well as guarantee high tonnage in import and export services which would lead to increased revenue for the federal government.
Abubakar added that the NPA was in the process of drawing up a 25-year development plan for the ports.
Earlier, Mr. Fulwood Bizzaro, a Port Facility Manager, said despite several challenges, the concessionaire had ensured strict adherence to the covenants it signed with the BPE and (NPA).
Bizzaro, the Port Facility Manager of Five Star Logistics Limited, concessionaire of Tin-can Island Port, said the company had developed 16-17 square metres of land for container and cargo stacking to handle the increased vehicle importation in the country.
According him, the development was in line with the concessionaire’s development plan for the port terminal.
General Manger of Josephdam Port Services Limited, Mr Dimon Travers, said the recent five-year lease extension on Tin-Can Island Port Terminal would ensure additional development of the terminal.
He expressed optimism that at the expiration of the concession period, the terminal would had been fully developed and operated as a world-class terminal.
“Cargo throughput is expected to increase significantly in the next few years. In the first quarter of 2014, there was a 29 per cent increase as against the 12.6 per cent in 2013’’, he said.
Travers said his company had remitted all throughput and lease fees to the NPA up to the first quarter of 2014.
The federal government in May 2006 concessioned Tin-Can Island Port Terminals for a period of 10 years.
In March 2014, the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) approved the extension of the concession period by five years.