The House of Representatives has urged the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) and other relevant government agencies to, as a matter of urgency, repair the quay wall and apron at Tin Can Island Port (RORO terminals) under a concession agreement and also commence repairs to save the terminals.
The Green Chamber also mandated the Committee on Privatization and Commercialization to immediately convene a stakeholders’ consultative meeting to find a lasting solution to the gridlock on the Apapa and Tincan Island access roads.
This, according to the lawmakers, is to halt billions of Naira monthly revenue loss to the Federal Government ,
This was sequel to the passage of a motion by a member, Rep. Msondu Benjamin Bem, with the title: “Loss of over N600 billion Monthly Revenue from Apapa Gridlock/Congestion and the Dilapidated Infrastructure in some Terminals.”
While moving the motion under matters of urgent national importance, the lawmaker noted that the Apapa and Tin Can Island Ports were concessioned to private operators under the Federal Government Port Reforms and Modernization Policy for efficiency and cost reduction through privatization by the Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE) in 2006.
Bem said the ‘lease/concession agreements were executed in 2006, wherein terminal operations were transferred to private operators with specific obligations to develop, operate and market the concession in accordance with approved business development plans.
He said under the concession agreement, NPA retained obligations of providing port access roads, dredging, water front security, pilotage, access to utilities, repairsof quay wall and apron area.
He, however said he is aware that Nigeria losses about N600 billion monthly, according to All African Publication of 21St December 2018, as a direct result of poor state of port access roads at the Apapa and Tin Can Island Ports.
Bem also said he is aware that all private terminal operators in the ports have met and exceeded covenanted obligations as regards investments in infrastructure, plants, equipment and payments of lease/throughput fees consistently over the years, except for one or two affected by change in monetary and fiscal policies of Government.
The lawmaker recalled that the provision of port access road, repairs of quay wall/apron area and other operational infrastructure are obligations of the Federal Government of Nigeria through NPA under the respective lease/concession agreements and failure to which has consequences on revenues of the Federal Government.
He further said that on Friday, 29th November, 2019, when the Committee on Privatization and Commercialization on oversight visited some parts of Tin Can Island like the RORO Terminal container handler, the Committee found some damaged parts of the transition slabs (cable duct) as a consequence of the sand erosion from underneath the apron’s deck.
This, he said, was due to the collapse of the quay wall which is the responsibility of Federal Government of Nigeria through NPA to fix the affected parts.
Bem expressed concern that the collapse of the quay wall (retaining wall) and the apron area of the terminal, which is 438 meters in length, could lead to the only terminal which receives vehicle cargos from across the World into Nigeria being closed and loss of huge revenue accruable to Government and loss of Jobs to many Nigerians.
He also expressed concern that the RORO Tin Can Island terminal alone provides over 500 direct jobs to Nigerians and over 3000 indirect employment to auxiliary business individuals and cooperate bodies around the Island Terminal.
“Cognisant that at the height of rising indices of unemployment in Nigeria, urgent measure must be taken by the NPA, BPE, and other relevant government agencies to fix the decaying infrastructure in and around the Apapa terminals.
“We are disturbed that the poor state of the quay wall/apron at Tin Can Island Port Complex constitute a major threat to the survival of the entire port, as it may collapse at any moment if urgent steps is not taken to arrest the ugly Trend,” ” Bem said
The lawmaker said he was convinced that Apapa and Tincan Island ports in Lagos “are the gateway to Nigeria’s economy with huge accruable revenue and employs thousands of its citizens.
“The collapse of the quay wall/apron and subsequent closure of the port will render millions jobless and further cripple economics activities in and around the port in particular and Nigeria in general. ”
When the Speaker, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila called for a voice vote on the motion, it was passed without dissent.