As stakeholders mount pressure on the Nigerian Ports Authority to urgently review its concession agreement with Terminal Operators, helmsman of NPA, Mohammad Bello Koko has come out with a clean bill of health for concessionaires. Said Bello Koko; The concession agreement has rules of engagement, there are clauses where we are empowered to withdraw licenses, but you have to follow due process. So far we haven’t found any infringement by any of the Terminal Operators to warrant the withdrawal of such Licenses ‘, he declared in an Exclusively Interview with Shipping World Magazine. Mr Bello Koko’s vote of confidence is coming amid concerns by the Minister of Transportation , Engr Muazu Sambo, that the Concession agreement entered into between the NPA and Terminal Operators over a decade ago,may have outlived its usefulness.
Out of his frustration on the delay by the NPA in coming out with an acceptable review agreement model,Engr Muazu had directed that the Nigerian Shippers Council be carried along in the review process since the Federal Government has appointed her the Ports Economic Regulator. Bello Koko told Shipping World that the NPA was on top of the situation and that the delay may have been occasioned by its desire to follow due process. Koko revealed that the modalities for the review were on course and that a critical evaluation of the terms of the agreement has been forwarded to the Federal Ministry of Transportation and the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission,ICRC.
On the proliferation of Seaports, Koko frowned at the idea of states scrambling to construct deep Seaports. He said: ” Even though Nigeria requires no fewer than between 4 to 5 deep Seaports, we would not go the route of State governments who for political reasons want to build an airport in each State”. He said the NPA was currently working on a 25 years Pors Development Plan that would define and regulate the nation’s port domain.