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Why BUA Terminal was decommissioned- NPA

MD NPA, Hadiza Bala Usman

The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has stated
that failure to honour some of the terms of the concession agreement was
responsible for its decommissioning of Rivers Ports Terminal B being operated
by Bua Ports and Terminals Ltd.

The NPA also refuted claims by the company
that the decommissioning was as a result of NPA’s refusal to fulfill certain
obligations including refusal to abide by a court order, provision of security,
dredging of the port, repair, renew and rebuild quay walls.

In a statement by Mr. Jatto Adams, the
General Manager, Corporate and Strategic Communications of the NPA, the
Authority said the decommissioning of Rivers Ports Terminal was out of safety

“This concern resulted from a May 16, 2019
BUA Ports and Terminals Limited letter informing us that the “jetty is in a
state of total dilapidation and in urgent need of repair or reconstruction…our
engineers have advised us that the jetty is liable to collapse at any moment…”
the statement read in part.

The NPA, however, said that “BUA only
commenced writing the authority requesting to reconstruct the berth after the
termination notice had been issued following 10 years of refusal to fulfill this
obligation. How can you request to reconstruct a berth which you have no legal claim
to, following the termination?”

It continued that prior to the period of the decommissioning,
BUA Terminal did not complain when it carried on in its business in the same premises
and recording 117 vessels carrying
liquid and dry bulk cargos berthing.

According to the NPA, the company’s handling
of such number of vessels in its facility automatically refutes its claims that
the NPA flouted the orders of a court of law. “Moreso, the total number of
vessels berthed showed that they have been making full commercial use of the
terminal even with the poor quay walls and low draft.”

The NPA noted that the company had failed to commence
reconstruction work of the berth in the last 10 years, an agreement that should
have been complied with within a stipulated 90 days.

It said that the action of negligence by the
company not fixing the dilapidated portions exposed the berth to pockets of
theft where pipes and steel beams were removed.

The NPA, however, stated that it would not be
deterred from performing its rightful oversight duties, rather, it would
diligently pursue the arbitration process, which it initiated despite the delay
by BUA. 

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