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  • Uncertainty over terminal licence renewal as port concessions near expiration

     Japo_Japo updated 2 months, 2 weeks ago 1 Member · 1 Post
  • Japo_Japo

    September 18, 2021 at 9:51 am

    As port concession period reaches its 15th year, terminal operators that entered 15 years contract agreement with the Federal Government are now worried as to whether the government would renew their operating licence or takeover their terminals.

    Some of these terminals whose operating licences are already due for renewal include ENL Consortium in Apapa Port, Tin-Can Island Container Port (TICT), Josephdam Port Services Limited, Five Star Logistics Limited and Port and Cargo Handling Services Limited in Tin-Can Island Port.

    Most of these terminal operators, who started with 10-year contract period on Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) basis, had their licences extended in 2016 for another five years each after reaching the first 10 years of handling cargo in the ports, and the five-year extension is expected to expire this year.

    Mohammed Bello-Koko, acting managing director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), said in Lagos recently that the NPA’s management had constituted a committee to review the terminal lease agreements in line with operational realities.

    “NPA has secured approval for the renewal of expiring leases for five terminal operators and the process has commenced. We have constituted a committee to review the lease agreements in order to achieve the objectives of the port reforms,” Bello-Koko said.

    He listed the terminals to include Ports & Cargo Terminal Limited, ENL Consortium Terminal C and D, Josephdam Terminal, and AMS Terminal in Delta Port.

    Giving insight into the agreement, the source however discloses that there is a clause in the concession agreement that states that government must give three years eviction notice to any terminal it wants to terminate its contract.

    The source further adds that none of the terminals in question is given such eviction notice, which automatically means that the Federal Government must retain or extend their licences.

    On his part, Adewale Adeyanju, president, Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), calls on the Federal Government to retain existing terminal operators at the ports due to the significant impact they have made over the past 15 years.

    He says terminal operators have improved service delivery at the ports and enhanced the welfare of port workers, especially dockworkers.

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