FG Requires $1.1bn Reinvestment to Renew Concession Agreement at Ports – Minister

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Mr Gboyega Oyetola

FG Requires $1.1bn Reinvestment to Renew Concession Agreement at Ports – Minister

The Federal Government requires about 1.1 billion dollars reinvestment in the nation’s ports to renew the concession agreement.

The Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Mr Gboyega Oyetola, said this when he appeared before the House of Representatives Committee on Privatisation investigating ports concession in Abuja

He said at the moment, the concession of the ports was being delayed to allow government conclude its reinvestment plan and reconstruct the ports to meet required standard.

He said that the government would not seat back and watch the ports to completely collapsed.

The minister who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mr Oloruntola Micheal, said the present agreement between the government and concessionaires was unacceptable.

He added that it fell below the required standard, saying, “under the mordenisation programme of the Port, the Ministry is envisioning a major reinvestment in the port system to meet expected service delivery.

This according to him, will be commensurate with the image of Nigeria and the level of international business that Nigeria is with.

“The current situation at the port does not meet the required standard. The investment quatum that is expected to be invested in the port will require a major rethink of the concession of the ports.

“As a result of that, the Ministry, in concert with the agency, the NPA in particular has begun a process of reinvestment package for the port.”

Also speaking, Mr Mohammed Koko, Managing Director, Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) said the proposal for renewal of the concession agreement for the ports was submitted to the Federal Executive Council in Feb. 2023.

He explained that the FEC put the renewal on hold demanding additional information, adding that one of the issues raised by FEC was investment as it relates to existing infrastructure at the ports.

Mr Ignatius Ayewoh, acting Director-General, Bureau for Public Enterprise, said that the government reinvestment plan should stop the renewal process of the concession exercise.

He said “I want to say that BPE was involved completely in this concessions arrangement and till date, monitoring has been taking place and some of the status report as per performance will be provided for record purpose.

Rep. Ibrahim Chidari, Chairman, House Committee on Privatisation and Commercialisation, said the Ministry must put measures in place to ensure that the government does not have to lose any revenue.

He said “after the expiration of the agreement in 2021, the terminal operators were given a six month extension twice and after that, there had been no extension.

He said, “We don’t want them to continue to operate illegally because there must be no vacuum”.