The World Bank has said that Nigeria’s port concession model, which was rolled out in 2006, is the best in Africa.
A Senior Transport Specialist of World Bank, Olatunji Ahmed, stated this in Lagos on Thursday during a visit to the headquarters of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Marina, Lagos.
Ahmed said the financial institution would continue to partner Nigeria and other African countries to develop transport infrastructure and services that are safe, green, efficient and inclusive.
He also said that the World Bank would assist NPA in its review of port concession agreements especially in the areas of governance, pricing, operations, transit/exit from the port, and traffic management.
Also speaking, the Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mohammed Bello Koko, stated that the port concession exercise has clearly enhanced Nigeria’s goal of becoming the leading blue economy in Africa.
He added that the focus of his management team is to facilitate a port-led industrialisation of the country through infrastructural renewal and deployment of modern technology.
“We at NPA fully appreciate that efficient port operations will enable our government and businesses provide services that are affordable and sustainable, leading to reduced poverty and inequality,” he said.
“We look forward to better collaboration with the Bank in the development of more mega or deep sea ports across the country with world class facilities, high quality and efficient operating system, like the Lekki deep sea port is now our priority.”
“With the quality of attention being paid by the Federal Government to port infrastructure renewal, we are confident that moving goods to and from Nigerian ports would soon be top of the range, cost-efficient and will be comparable with the leading ports of the world.
“We have made remarkable progress tackling the intractable traffic gridlock on the port access roads with the deployment of an electronic call-up system for trucks, called ETO, there is room for improvement, the Apapa axis is good but on the Tin Can axis, we’re calling for a quick fix before the rains,” he added.
In a related development, the NPA helmsman along with other members of the management team met with the officials of Bollore Transport and Logistics Nigeria (formerly SDV Nigeria) led by its Managing Director, Folashade Akanni-Shelle.
The delegation from Bollore spoke about their company’s desire to expand its logistics facilities across the country, to boost its market share and service offerings in areas like Customs releases, warehousing and door-to-door delivery to clients.
“We hope to sustain the cordial business relations we have established with the NPA for the benefit of the Nigerian economy,” she said.
Bello Koko assured Bollore of NPA’s commitment to work closely with all its local and international partners.
He charged Bollore to identify likely locations suitable to set up such logistics bases, especially in the eastern part of the country, where such facilities are not available.