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Members of the Seaport Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria (STOAN), have pulled their weight behind the managing director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Ms. Hadiza Usman for her plans to review the over 10 years concession agreements’ with terminal concessionaires.
The members said government will in the process of the review, identify and solve all the problems currently militating against the growth of the sector.
In a statement, STOAN said “As the MD of NPA has stated several times, the concession agreement is subject to intermittent reviews. This has also been the position of STOAN. The review will address unforeseen developments and challenges encountered in the system. We support it. We also support all the steps she has taken so far. We are on the same page as far as our ports are concerned. The abiding interest, which should as a matter of fact be the interest of every Nigerian, is making Nigerian ports the best in Africa and among the best in the world”.
The industry group also noted that it was working with the Hadiza Bala Usman-led NPA management and other relevant agencies of the Federal Government to address certain government policies, which are diverting cargoes away from Nigerian ports.
“We must commend Ms. Hadiza Bala Usman for taking time to tour and assess the ports upon assumption of office in order to appreciate the issues at hand. We are aware also that she has accessed the state of the port access roads and have promised to ensure that government fixes those roads as soon as possible. This is certainly highly commendable and it shows that the present government is a listening government.
“We are also aware of the meeting between her and the Comptroller-General of Customs to refine and simplify the cargo clearing system at the port. These are genuine efforts that must not pass unappreciated.
STOAN said since the ports were concessioned in 2006, significant progress has been made in ensuring prompt service delivery, quick turnaround time of vessels and improved welfare of dockworkers, among others.
“We assure the NPA MD and the Federal Government of our full support always in implementing the change agenda and bringing about the dividends of democracy to Nigerians,” STOAN noted.