House of Representatives Speaker Yakubu Dogara and Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) Director-General Benjamin Dikki have praised operators at the seaports for improving their terminals with world-class equipment.
Dogara spoke at a conference on the review of port concession agreement, organised by the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) and International Maritime Exhibition and Conference (IMEC) in Lagos.
Represented by the House Deputy Chief Whip, Hon. Pally Iriase, the Speaker said the 2006 port concession had brought tremendous benefits to the economy.
He said the average turnaround time of vessels has also reduced significantly.
“Since the concession agreement in 2006 till date, terminal operators have recorded some achievements as evidenced by the injection of funds for the provision of port infrastructure and equipment,” he said.
He listed the achievements, as “seaside operation, which has drastically reduced the vessel turnaround time at our ports, the perimeter fencing of all the terminals in compliance with ISPS Code and improved security of cargoes at terminals among others”.
Dogara charged the operators to do more, especially in automation of cargo clearance, enhancement of cargo examination processes and rehabilitation of the port access roads.
Dikki also said the positive impact of port concession could not be overemphasised.
“Anybody, who has seen the port in 2006 and goes round the port today, will know that the concessionaires have made investment that ordinarily, a government cannot bring out from his budgetary allocations to support,” he said.
Dikki praised the Nigerian Shippers Council, calling for the quick passage of the Ports and Harbours Bill to reap the full benefits of the concession.