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Business News of Sunday, 14 August 2022

Source: punchng.com

FG eyes port concession renewal in 45 days

Port file photo Port file photo

The Federal Government has said that it has concluded plans for the renewal of the port concession agreement within the next 45 days.

The Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Sambo, said this on Friday while on an inspection tour at Apapa and Tin Can ports.

Sambo explained that all necessary factors had been factored into the new agreement which was expected to correct the shortcomings in the first concession agreement.

The minister commended the efforts of terminal operators in transforming port operations over the years.

He appreciated the massive job opportunities availed Nigerians at the terminals.

“At SIFAX alone, I have learnt that over 7,000 Nigerians have been employed. Each Nigerian employed means that a minimum of 10 people are being cared for either directly or indirectly. So, this means that SIFAX is responsible for feeding over 70,000 Nigerians. This is just one terminal caring for this number of people and probably educating their children.”

Recall that the review of terminal operators’ concession agreement has been ongoing for more than three years with several terminals operating with expired concession agreement.

However, the minister maintained that automation was the only way to drive efficiency at the nation’s seaports.

He encouraged the Nigerian Ports Authority to intensify efforts geared towards automated processes.

“While we encourage NPA to improve automation, we are thinking seriously about the port community system because it is crucial to the development of the maritime sector. So, with automation and an efficient port community system, all port processes will be enhanced very soon,” Sambo said.

At the Tin Can Island Port, the Minister inspected the dilapidated portion of the Tin Can Island Port Quay Apron, even as he directed the Managing Director of NPA and the engineers to forward the ‘as-built’ plan of the jetty, alongside other documents to his office for immediate action.

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