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NPA seeks $600m for Tin-Can Island Port reconstruction

The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) would need $600 million to reconstruct the Tin-Can Island Port Complex.

Managing Director of the NPA, Mr. Mohammed Bello-Koko, disclosed this on an Arise Television Interview, where he acknowledged that the Tin- Can Island Port has reached its full life-circle and would now need adequate rehabilitation.

Speaking, the MD used the occasion to dismiss some reports of an imminent collapse of the port.

He said: “I have read and hear people saying that the Tin Can Island Port is collapsing, let me say it here that there is no imminent collapse of the port. Yes, there are defects when it comes to the quays, but there have been remedial works.”

He said that after extensive consultations with the terminal operators, it was agreed that a holistic design of the new port should be made as against the option of allowing terminal operators to individually reconstruct their berths and terminals.

He also make known that the option of embarking on a holistic reconstruction was reached given that not all the terminal operators have the financial capacity to embark of such huge project and that if they are allowed to do it individually at their own time, it might impinge on the integrity of the quays, which would not pay on the long run, thus the decision to opt for total and complete reconstruction.

On the project funding, the MD said that the options open are either to have the NPA provide the entire funding, which current estimate is put at over $600million or opt for involving some multilateral funding agencies to provide a certain per cent of the funding while the NPA provides the rest.

He said: “We have been proactive to have first of all, started looking for funding options. We have started discussions with multilateral funding agencies that could fund the reconstruction of the port. The other option is for us to approach the Federal Government to request that NPA be allowed to use a certain per cent of the funds it transfers to the Consolidated Revenue Fund CRF for the reconstruction.

“We transfer about N60billion on a yearly basis and so the government could approve that we use 40per cent or 50per cent of this amount for the reconstruction. We actually believe that we do not need to borrow to fund this project.

“Another option is to do a hybrid funding whereby the terminal operators would fund this reconstruction, but the issue here is that while some terminal operators could have the financial strength to carry out the project, others might not and if we allow them to do it individually, it might affect the integrity of the quays.

“So this has to be properly coordinated and we are working with the Federal Ministry of Transport on the decision to be taken and it has to be taken at the right time and properly so that we will have to go to the Federal Executive Council FEC for the approval.”

The MD thanked the management and entire staffers of the organisation, and noted that the modest achievements recorded in the last few months were made possible with their support and cooperation.

He also disclosed the management’s resolve to focus on staffers’ welfare, port automation through the Port Community System, strengthening of the electronic call up system for trucks and other articulated vehicles by eliminating monopoly.

The NPA, according to Bello-Koko, is perfecting plans to enhance multi-modal transport in the movement of cargo by streamlining the operations of the barges through its new Standards Operating Procedures SOP, among other pressing issues.

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