Mr Alex Okoh, the Director-General, Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) says the Terminal ‘B’ Warri Old Port was concessioned for a period of 25 years at an annual lease fee of 1.62 million dollars.
Okoh made this known at the official hand over of the Port to the concessionaire- Ocean and Cargo Terminal Services Ltd in Warri, Delta.
A statement issued by Amina Othman, Head, Public Communications, BPE, on Wednesday was made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.
Okoh said that the fee was in addition to the entry fee and monthly throughput fee chargeable on the volume of cargo handled.
He added that the aim of the port concession was to increase efficiency at the ports with the ultimate goal of modernising the ports to make them more competitive.
“The objective of the government in port concession is to increase efficiency in our ports, improve service delivery, upgrade and modernise facilities in the ports.
“It is to also reduce cost of shipping and clearing of goods at the ports and relieve the government of the burden of financing the sector.”
According to the director-general, the nation’s ports are the main gateway to the country and are key to the Federal Government’s objective of diversifying and growing the country’s economy.
He also said that the Federal Government was committed to a private sector driven economy and called on local and international businessmen to take advantage of the government’s open door policy to establish businesses in the country.
He assured that the implementation of the covenanted development plan for the concessionaire would be closely monitored by the relevant government agencies including the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), BPE and the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) to ensure compliance.
Ms Hadiza Usman, the Managing Director, NPA), said the concessioning of port facilities was carried out to enhance productivity and attract more cargos to the hitherto abandoned port.
Usman who was represented by Sokonte Davies, the Executive Director, Marine and Operations, NPA, appealed to people in the port community to support government’s initiatives aimed at developing the maritime industry.
He added that the port concession would enhance the economy of Delta and create jobs for people in the host communities.
“We implore the communities in making the government’s efforts a success to work positively with the concessionaire, they should try not to put any pressure on them because pressures can shut the business down.
“However, if the communities support them, they will see that as activities increase and vessels come, it will increase the engagement of young men and women, even the old people.
“The communities will be positively impacted because the economy will grow and it will have positive effect on every area of life of the people.
“We are using this opportunity to appeal to the host communities to help this one to work. It is working in other places, don’t let yours be different”, he added.
Mr Simon Okeke, the Port Manger, Delta Ports, said the additional terminal was a milestone which would increase maritime activities at the port.
He said that the port now had a lot of facilities, especially with the dredging of the Escravos Channel.
Okeke implored the concessionaire to introduce a linear vessel to the port to boost business activities and expressed confidence that business men at Nnewi, Onitsha in Anambra and other adjoining communities would patronise the port.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the National Council on Privatisation (NCP), after assessing various bids, on June 12, 2018, approved the technical and financial bids of 100.78 million dollars submitted by Ocean and Cargo Terminal Services Ltd. which emerged as the preferred bidder for the terminal. (NAN)